Tree of Hope
The public art sculpture, the Tree of Hope
was installed at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, new Burns Centre, in July 2003.
The project was commissioned by the hospital to encourage support in receiving donations to purchase new equipment for their department.
Funding to construct the sculpture was donated through the Julian Burton Burns Trust, which was set up after the Bali bombings in 2002.
The concept was developed through research into two specific areas. Firstly, I examined the shape and structure of Australian native trees,
and secondly, I researched the medicinal plants and trees which are used by Indigenous Australians in treating burns and other skin lesions.
The construction and manufacture of the Tree of Hope
was carried out through resourcing several areas of industry, from industrial
companies to local craftspeople. The structure of tree was fabricated by a skilled blacksmith, in hand-forged steel bars. The branches of the
tree were tapered and curved to create a fluid organic quality to the structure. The laser cut brass plaques being a representation of a leaf,
seed pod and flower have been twisted and formed to create organic undulating structures, then engraved and plated in antique gold,
Silver or bronze, depending on the respective donation.
The final artwork is a stylised tree with a distinctive Australian appearance, referencing a combination of four different trees.
These being: Acacia Estrohiolata (Ironwood), Eucalyptus Camaldulensis (River Red Gum), Acacia Pycnantha (Golden Wattle) and
Hakea Lorea (Cork Wood). These trees are used by Aboriginal communities across Australia for the purpose of healing burns and skin lesions.
The Tree of Hope
sculpture was created to enrich and enhance the environment it was placed into as well as a celebration of the
knowledge of "bush medicine" within Aboriginal society.
Within so many cultures, the tree is a powerful and emotive symbol of life, knowledge and the soul, and because of recent events in our history,
it is a most suitable symbol of hope.