One Tree, One Year

Sample cover for One Tree 365.

Sample cover for One Tree 365.

One of my Facebook friends is Ciarán Burke, a plant enthusiast and teacher who graduated from the National Botanic Gardens in 1990. He’s also a writer, photographer, and lecturer, and he and his wife Hanna run The Garden School in western Ireland. Some of you may remember his (very cool) scoodoos project that we featured on Flora’s Forum  a while ago.

 

Ciarán Burke teaches at The Garden School in Ireland and writes extensively on horticulture. He's also an amazing photographer.

Photographer Ciarán Burke teaches at The Garden School in Ireland and writes extensively on horticulture.

Well, Ciarán wrote me the other day about his tree project–it’s called OneTree365.

Every day, since last December 4th, he has been photographing the same tree on the road near his home in County Mayo, documenting the growth through the seasons and the changes of light, but taking the photos from different views and at different times of day.

On a video describing the project,  Ciarán says, “When I started the project my aim was to get to know the tree. To share its beauty with others and to appreciate a moment of nature each day, to feel grateful for ordinary, everyday life.”

He says his initial worry about the project becoming boring (one tree, gray skies) dissolved almost immediately as he found himself in a different daily scene.

I think it’s a fascinating project. The photos are amazingly varied but for me the most intriguing aspect is wondering–how close you would feel to a tree, to a place in nature, if you visited it and photographed it almost every day for a year? Ciarán has been posting the pictures on his website for the project and received encouragement that the project would make a great book. As the project would probably not appeal to traditional publishers and would be expensive to print, he has decided to raise funds for a 60 page color photobook himself. (Each page will feature 7 photographs.)

He’s put the project on Ireland’s crowd-funding site “Fund It.” Here’s the link. The project will be running only through December 3rd, so if you’d like to help out, now’s the time.

Also, if you know anyone who will be visiting Ireland you might want to share this little tidbit: for a £250 (or more) donation you get the book, a framed photo of one of twelve tree images, and a guided tour of the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin for you and a group of friends (max number 8) by Ciarán. The tour lasts 4 hours.

It’s also noted that the OneTree365 project will be featured in an exhibition/installation in Charlestown Arts Centre in County Mayo in March 2014.

To learn more about the artist/teacher and his work, you can visit his website, Blooms ‘n’ Food, or click here for  a list of Ciaran Burke’s talks and other websites.

–Sandra Knauf

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