The Meeting Point 100 x 120cm acrylic on canvas , Niamh Cunningham 倪芙瑞莲 2023
1. Tik Tok Palm Clock 100 x 120cm acrylic on canvas , Niamh Cunningham 倪芙瑞莲 2023
The Forest Breath Series of paintings began two years ago (2021) at this same residency ‘The Rhythm of Life’ in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan. I decided to continue this focus on tropical trees and skylines.
When I think about the air that I breathe I think about the surface of a leaf and gas exchange. The leaf enhales carbon and together with light and water after photosynthesis exhales oxygen. David George Haskell even points out that pine needles have lip shaped cells as he describes this process in his book ‘The Songs of Trees’.
So if plants are temporary crystalised carbon, then what is air?
……….Air is 400 millions years of Forest Breath.
Its not often you find yourself standing on the edge of the world, a place so remote with exotic ecologies, diverse ethnicities, different languages and pace of life in a village called Menglun, which sits next door to the largest protected rainforest in China.
Returning to Xishuangbanna (Yunnan) to spend two weeks at the Octagon Lodge was a true joy. The combination of intense painting and getting to know the other artists and also the environmentalists in the education centre in Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Gardens XTBG for me was a perfect union of strengths and energies.
Delighted to speak about the Memory Palace of Tree Stories at the Embassy of Ireland in Beijing recently （July 28th） for the event Ambassadors for Nature. Over twenty embassies were present , many spoke about on what improvements were made to increase biodiversity of the green spaces on embassy grounds.
The event was hosted by Ambassador to Ireland Dr Ann Derwin and introduced by conservationist Terry Townshend . There were other interesting presentations from Beijing forest & parks Bureau Dr Wang Xiaoping Deputy Director ， conservation groups，and educational projects .
Delighted to announce that my socio eco art practice “The Memory Palace of Tree Stories” has been awarded public funding via Carlow County Council and the Creative Ireland Carlow Programme . This support has helped me build a specially designated website for the gathering of peoples tree stories on video.