Monday, March 17, 2008
Holly Newman, Tree Dresses, various locations and times
Over the past year, I have every once in a while come upon a small frilly decorative fabric ever so gently attached to one of our downtown's pencil thin trees. Usually along a pedestrian friendly path, unlikely public dressings have been spotted in front of the Art Gallery of Alberta, along Churchill Square, and now, spotted throughout the U of A campus.
Larger than past reincarnations, bright dresses adorn mature trees along Saskatchewan Drive and directly on campus. Surprising, not-at-all alarming, the tree dresses exist between the realm of our city's DIY energy and our street's excessive traces of discarded clothing by those who have fallen between the cracks. But on campus, where history blends with theory before practice, the tree dresses appear more as memorials for a past we are not sure we can remember.
The handiwork of artist Holly Newman, a community minded artist with professional credentials that has not forgotten about why she makes art, it is really the spirit of these works that have grown into something so enchanting. A public presentation that is at once subtle, fleeting, and engaging, this is what I consider public art in one of its truest and purest forms.
*As this is a community public presentation outside of any sanctioned spaces, I highly encourage public opinions.
Image credit: Holly Newman, 2008
at 7:38:00 p.m.