Bandaged limbs of volunteer trees are acts of healing

A long-term performance piece in a public interstitial space
Installed June 2022 in Lakewood, Ohio

Edaphoecotropism serves as a reminder of our responsibility to mend the wounds we have inflicted upon the Earth and embrace a more harmonious coexistence.

About the work

Edaphoecotropism is an exterior site-specific installation measuring about 15 x 6 x 3 feet using biodegradable materials. In this work, I engaged in acts of self-healing and ceremonial natural environment. I bandaged the limbs of volunteer trees, symbolizing a collective effort to restore harmony and balance between humanity and the natural world.

I used natural materials including cotton twine, tissue paper, beeswax, natural mineral pigments and inks, and water-soluble paper tape, as well as found discarded paper trash. These materials will naturally break down over time unlike plastic or toxic substances that would harm the environment.

The scientific term edaphoecotropism is the natural ability of trees to incorporate foreign objects into their tissue without harm. This process strengthens the connection over time as the tree engulfs and binds to objects like fence or other human-made objects. This process helps a tree avoid stress by growing around obstacles and optimizing access to sunlight.

By exploring new materials combinations like beeswax tissue paper skins and prioritizing biodegradable, natural materials over harmful substances, I aimed to deepen my understanding of the barriers between self and Earth.

Drawing inspiration from my visual culture research on ecological art, ecofeminism, and site-specific installations, my artwork found meaning within these contexts. Eco art addresses environmental concerns such as biodiversity loss and overconsumption, often utilizing unconventional media like dirt, sand, water, or bacteria. Embracing installation and performance rather than traditional art objects, I situated my work outdoors using non-toxic and biodegradable materials. In line with critical ecofeminism, I sought to foster environmental and social justice for all, acknowledging that the mistreatment of women, indigenous peoples, and nature stems from a Eurocentric patriarchal philosophy of domination. "Edaphoecotropism" challenged the false notion of humans being separate from the Earth, highlighting the interconnectedness we share.

Through this installation, I invite viewers to reflect on the barriers that separate humanity from the natural world and the vital role we play in healing and nurturing our environment. It serves as a reminder of our responsibility to mend the wounds we have inflicted upon the Earth and embrace a more harmonious coexistence.
© 2024 Susan Snipes Art Ltd   Privacy Policy   Subscribe