Urban Beleaf 2006 Artist Statement

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I have merged words and textures from the street with leaves from the suburban trees in an attempt to highlight the human nature connection, the leaves represent change and a passing of time and remind us that even in the man-made spaces nature plays a vital role in our lives. The leaves are like living canvasses and represent the thoughts and feelings of individuals who have left their mark and messages on the streets. All of the leaves were collected from the ground under a tree in the suburbs of Melbourne and as random as the people who have helped contribute to this series they are part of something more complex. Although! just because I gathered the leaves from under one tree doesn’t mean they all came from the same tree. Add the elements of wind, movement and people and you soon realise how complex the origins of a single leaf are.

Urban Beleaf is a series of images I worked on while living in Northcote, Melbourne and I spent a number of years walking the streets and watching the street art evolve and change according to society’s trends and politics. I was fascinated with the progression of words and images on the street where multiple layers of paint, paper, stickers and posters were applied to these public spaces. In time, they formed abstract collages which were also influenced by the weather and peoples interaction with them. They were always changing as Individuals left their mark the form of opinions, creative reactions and artworks within the urban landscape. The streets became a collective urban visual diary of the city, life and its occupants. Word on the street continues to this day to influence peoples thoughts.

Humanity can be viewed as a never-ending series of patterns which are always separating, changing and reforming in relationship to one another. These same patterns are obvious in nature. Because we are human nature it makes sense that we instinctly follow some of these same patterns as they form our geometric structure. As we become more technologically advanced the risk of alienating ourselves from the natural world is a reality. Some people have become so distant from nature resulting in communication problems and a sense of despair. I am reminded of the quote: Suburbia is where they bulldoze the trees and name the streets after them.