collecting tears

Greer Taylor - collecting tears - Sculpture in the Valley, Kangaroo Valley 2023
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I reinstalled my large threaded work collecting tears around a very wonderful tree in a wild location as part of the Sculpture in the Valley exhibition in Kangaroo Valley. The work was awarded the Highly Commended Outdoor Sculpture Prize.

The work took 6 days to install, as the site was steep a platform was required in order that the threading process could take place. The threading itself took 31/2 days, an experience that proved to be quiet moving — the platform had created an intimate ‘room’ around the tree; I felt that I had the extraordinary experience of spending 3 days in a room with a tree. The tree and I became quite intimate and I was sure I could here her purring as I worked in such close proximity with her. I find it hard not to choke up when remembering the experience… of watching ants as they walked up her trunk and down and as they explored the work I was making, I often stopped mid-knot to allow an ant to climb up and over my fingers as it continued on its way exploring the new pathway in space I was providing.

collecting tears,
powder coating on aluminium, silicon threads, stainless steel fittings, in collaboration with a tree, 220 x 500 x 500 cm, 2023

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The tree who is hard not to call ‘She’, was about 300 years old. Her family relationships can be described botanically as: Eucalyptus saligna x botryoides, common name: Sydney Blue Gum – Southern Mahogany cross; while white barked, her heartwood is red.

collecting tears is a call for each of us to acknowledge the grief of the world, to shed tears and acknowledge that the earth too is shedding tears.

This short poem describes what this work is about better than anything…

invocation for your tears

may your tears
fall upon
the ground

may you know
they fall upon
a living earth

for only then
will she feel
your tears

and know
that she is loved

Sculpture in the Valley exhibition dates were: 9 – 17 September 2023