Martin King – CLIMARTE group exhibition ‘TREE’

In News October 5, 2022

Image: Martin King tree of life, diary of lost souls in twenty volumes, No. 1, etching, drypoint, spitbite, chine-collé, hard-cover books, UNIQUE, 112 x 120 cm

Martin King’s exquisite work tree of life, diary of lost souls in twenty volumes, No. 1 is included in the upcoming CLIMARTE group exhibition TREE.

CLIMARTE is mounting an exhibition of artwork depicting and communicating the lives of City of Melbourne trees.  Trees face a dangerously warming world, among other threats. Life has a layered dialogue with trees in the city context. Trees in urban settings have circumstances not experienced by trees in non urban environments.

Offering shade, oxygen, habitat, comfort, beauty and more, day in day out, year after year, the City of Melbourne’s 70,000+ trees are an extraordinary, silent ‘asset’.

CLIMARTE called for artworks of and about a tree; a tree from the City of Melbourne’s celebrated Urban Forest project.

Using the City of Melbourne’s Urban Forest Visual as a guide, artists were invited to create a work that honours and advocate for a particular tree living in the City of Melbourne.

Exhibition Opening:
Tuesday 11 October 6pm
45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

‘I have chosen to work within the Fitzroy Gardens, a location I have spent much time wandering, pondering and passing through, actively and passively!
I have concentrated on two trees, Corymbia, Lemon Scented Gum, (tree ID: 1040279) and Fraxinus, English Ash, (tree ID: 1040597) in the NE and E part of the gardens.
The work will bring these trees together, a hypothetical hybrid, half Gum, half Ash Both are mature and substantial trees.

Fitzroy Gardens were established in the 1800’s, originally set aside as a reserve in 1848.
My interest is in the gardens is as a sight and haven for urban wildlife.
The work is an etching of the trees, the right-hand side of the work is the Gum, the left-hand side, the Ash. It is presented as a series of hardcover books laid out as double page spreads, which will reveal the splendour of both trees.

Embedded within the etching are pages from the diary of John Cotton (1802-1849), a naturalist and pastoralist in Victoria. His journals are beautifully illustrated with bird species found in the Port Phillip region at time the Fitzroy gardens were founded. My work is a reflection of habitats and the species that inhabit them, past and present.

My hope is that the Fitzroy Gardens and the significant initiative of the City of Melbourne Urban Forest, will continue to support a sight and haven for wildlife and plant biodiversity into the future.’
– Martin King, 2022