Activity 8: Nature in the City – The Body Language of Trees

Instructor: Robyn Bauer


As living creatures, we are naturally drawn to life, both animal and plant. In an ideal world there are many green spaces in our cities but quite apart from this there are hints of the natural world in the most urban of spaces. The city is a living organism underneath the concrete.

This is a theme that can be considered in several different ways, and the excitement lies in the contrasts that can be observed between the natural and the man-made. It can be viewed as a struggle or as a harmony of opposites.

This activity will focus on the city trees that flourish or surrender in All Saint’s Gardens.

We will spend time looking, analysing and reflecting on the growth patterns and angles of the plants particularly the large trees. We will explore ways of communicating through sketches, the results of our observations.

We will use thumbnails of “worm’s eye”, “birds eye” and both aerial and side views to come up with original perspectives and viewpoints to investigate this concept. The character of the trees and how they relate to the surrounding man-made structures should provide some fascinating insights. This exercise will make us better observers of other things as well!

Other tools we have in our arsenal include colour, texture, and type of mark-making to convey our ideas.


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