Fusion of art, science and engineering brings Trinity Trees exhibition to life

Posted on: 28 September 2017

Visual artist Olivia Hassett will, on Friday September 29, launch the inspiring, public-facing Trinity Trees exhibition with live art performances and a guided walk that will open eyes and minds to the majesty of eight of Trinity College Dublin’s iconic campus trees. The exhibition is open until Sunday November 12.

The opening event featured at PROBE, Research Uncovered at Trinity College Dublin.

From a creative melting pot in which the inspirational ingredients comprised the thoughts of Professor of Materials Engineering, David Taylor, Research Fellow in Geology and microscope expert, Clodagh Dooley, and Trinity Grounds Supervisor and tree expert, David Hackett, visual artist and project leader Olivia Hassett has created eight incredible pieces of artwork, which have been installed in eight different trees across campus.

The project aims to “make visible the invisible” by showcasing microscopic elements of the trees in the artworks, and by interpreting their meaning in the live art performances so as to inspire interested minds with a unique impression of the trees.

The Cherry Blossom tree and its installation.

Additionally, the team has produced a sound piece that gives a brief synopsis of each tree and inspirations for the artworks for anyone interested in taking a self-guided walk from tree to tree over the four-week period of the exhibition, which ends on Sunday 29th of October 2017.

Visual artist, Olivia Hassett, said: “I have created eight brightly coloured, unique artworks in response to the imagery, physiology, mythology and artistic inspirations unique to each tree, and I am really excited to be performing with the Oregon Maple as part of the exhibition’s opening night events.” 

“The microscope images of the trees are breath-taking, and were key in influencing the direction taken in each artwork.”

The eight trees and the elements of each that inspired their artworks are the:

  1. Oregon Maple and its metal cable bracing system
  2. Snake Bark and its pod-like structure, with a nod to 90s Japanese street culture
  3. Hop Horn Beam and the ‘bone-like’ meaning behind its Greek name
  4. Pair of Plane trees and their lumpy nodules, which are a relic of their infancy when they contracted an infection
  5. Crab Apple and the peaceful and intimate setting where it resides
  6. Cordyline Palm, its mesmerising swaying branches and the meditative noise that springs from its leaves as the wind blows through them
  7. Cherry Blossom and its identical (reproductive) pollen grains
  8. Yew and its miracle bark that houses cancer-fighting compounds

The Cordyline Palm installation.

For additional information on the project and for more detail around each tree, its artwork, and the related inspiration, see here

Media Contact:

Thomas Deane, Media Relations Officer | deaneth@tcd.ie | +353 1 896 4685