Location: ByWard zone
Description: Marked with an ’X’, an art installation of hundreds of tiny tree portraits, it uses the positive aspects of the hype-space to draw attention to the plight of Ottawa’s diminishing urban-forest canopy.
Marked with an ’X’, an installation by Ottawa visual artist, Gwen Frankton, consisting of hundreds of tiny tree portraits, it uses the positive aspects of the hype-space to draw attention to the plight of Ottawa’s diminishing urban-forest canopy. Since the arrival of the emerald ash borer to Ottawa, both as a response to the ash trees killed by this invasive inspect species and as a preventative measure to stop its expansion, 30 percent of our urban forest has been cut down. Trees perform a vital role absorbing carbon dioxide and generating oxygen. This installation encourages visitors to plant a tree and contribute to Tree Ottawa’s goal of planting 1,000,000 trees (one per Ottawa resident) by 2017 in order to restore the urban-forest, just in time for Ottawa’s celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation.
Bio: Gwen Frankton’s deep engagement with the natural world profoundly influences her work at all levels. Her larger works in acrylic, watercolour and pen-and-ink are lush and vibrant depictions of trees, plants and the forest floor. Currently – as many Ottawans are – she is moved and saddened by the loss of so many of our ash trees to the emerald ash borer. These lovely trees, which ordinarily have a lifespan of 200 years, are dying with remarkable speed. It is estimated that we will soon lose 30 percent of our urban forest. With hundreds of tiny portraits of Ottawa trees – including leafless ash trees marked with X’s in preparation for their removal – the artist draws public attention to this grave loss and really illustrates what a 30% loss looks like. Frankton uses the positive aspect of the hype space to encourage national capital residents to own the problem and plant a tree.