The Hazel Tree Mother
The Hazel Tree Mother is inspired by varients of
the Cinderella story. This series offers cultural and environmental
contexts to explore symbiosis, especially in the care of offspring
and loved ones during fearful times. Cinderella's loss of her
mother and her subsequent adventures require her resourcefulness,
imagination, devotion and persistence. The ballet by Sergei Prokofiev
includes several referents to trees and forests, including the
Prince's oranges. The dead mother in a Chinese variant becomes
a beautiful fish whose flesh feeds and whose bones provide clothes
and a secret identity for the heroine. In the Pacific northwest,
scientists have identified the nourishment migratory salmon provide
to mountainous forests. The heroine of the version collected by
the Grimm brothers receives clothes via the hazel tree she planted
in her dead mother's grave. This series is part of a larger exploration
about the nature of interpersonal interactions and recent research
into stress responses, specifically, the quantifiable observations
that women respond in times of crisis through behaviors which
involve tending and befriending.
I wanted to expand the notion of syndicalism developed
by the labor movement to include the planet's environmental systems.
I have used handmade papers, watercolor and collage techniques
and digitally manipulated images of my own photographs and cultural
artifacts. The work appears here with the support of 4Culture
and is dedicated to the memory of my parents.
About the images: The Dress, The Dovecote and
After the last bough was carefully cleaned of decorations,
the prince sent the golden shoe to the shoemakers. He made his
rounds, checking the orange trees twice.
Later, the prince poked his head in the shoemakers doorway.
Aha! he said, what do you think?
They quietly grunted noncommittally and shrugged.
He then cried, She is a botanist! I know it. She knew
all about my trees, just by touching their bark. Can you help
The shoemakers looked at one another, and one put his tools
down, wiping his hands on his apron. In concert they said,
you want us to make you another to match?