Beuysterous is about sharing artistic actions to do with trees, that will help people and places be resilient (or creatively boisterous) in the face of climate change.
It is inspired by three people:
First and foremost is the artist Joseph Beuys, who planted 7000 oaks as an artwork. (Also inspiring, and continuing Beuys’ legacy are Dan Harvey and Heather Ackroyd.)
The second is from history: Nelson’s friend, Admiral Collingwood, always carried acorns to seed whenever he walked his dog, Bounce.
The third is Wangari Maathai who motivated people to plant over 30 million trees in Africa.
Trees are in the frontline of the climate battle. Warmer temperatures are causing devastating tree diseases and forest fires. However, we desperately need more trees to stabilise the atmosphere, to provide food sources that don’t need oil-based fertilisers or pesticides, to provide habitats for threatened biodiversity and to prevent soil erosion caused by worsening storms, drought or floods. Despite this ongoing battle, too many trees are lost to development projects or neglect. Read this Treetise
for more on why trees matter.
There are some great tree planting and care projects, such as Trees for Cities, the Woodland Trust’s tree planting challenge and Plant for the Planet, which could benefit from more support. Artistic actions might help them by giving visibility, meaning and joy to tree planting activities, as well as generating solutions to some problems such as protecting saplings or combatting disease. For example, artist Anne-Marie Culhane devised an ‘Apple Sock’
to catch tree fruit that might otherwise rot.
This website is part of the new Beuysterous project. It describes twelve creative actions or opportunities to do with planting or caring for trees that you can do each month. It will also include posts on inspirations – about trees, about artists who work with trees etc.
Ultimately, we hope to generate a tribe of Beuysterous people who know how and where to plant, care for and use trees and who also use artistic approaches to involve more people. The Beuysterous fanpage on Facebook
is the starting point for this. Please join, or Like, if you’re on Facebook.
The project might also lead to fundraising for tree charities, an annual event to share ideas and courses combining art with tree knowledge.
Please share ideas, inspirations or your own artistic actions around trees, in the comments on this website or by commenting on the Pinterest pins, or in the Facebook fan page. Or you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. By ‘artistic’ actions I don’t mean very skilled or professional art, although it’s great to involve people with these skills and to explore contemporary and original ideas. Artistic actions can include cultural traditions, rituals, symbols and very simple things that are meaningful to you.