Memory Palace of Tree Stories

Web of fabulous grass, sucrose series, Niamh Cunningham 2018 

Memory Palace of Tree Stories:


In October 2019  after reading the Pulitzer prize winning book ‘The OverStory’ by Richard Powers I started my plans for the socio-eco art practice ‘The Memory Palace of Trees’. It began in January 2020 at a time when the pandemic was just about to reveal itself as the most urgent global emergency of our lifetime. The pandemic is very much part of our ecological crisis and how we ‘utilize’ the natural world.  Throughout a most turbulent year, people worldwide have reappraised their relationship and dependance on the natural world. Many have turned to nature to claim a space of sanctity and sanity and some people have shared their stories with us in the Memory Palace of Tree Stories.  


Memory Palace of Tree Stories is a socio- ecological art practice which invites your participation to tell a story or give some kind of information about  trees. It is a social enquiry of how to live better with the planet and with people and other living beings . You are cordially invited to share your story of a tree or trees in the form of a one minute video. I would love to hear from you . 

The most recent Stories are in the format of a one minute videos. 

Video 1Empty Tendrils by Yvette Stride

Video 2Pomegranate Tree by Han Chao

Video 3Trees are Like Humans by Jenny Hong

Video 4Old Ash A real survivor by Gillian Cussen

Video 5Tree Rings of Life by Wang Ligeng

Video 6A very Weird Elf by Zhu Jinghua

Video 7Old Crabapple of Wenhua Dian by Matthew Hu

Video 8:   Standing Fast by Joseph Stewart 

Video 9: Feeling Good – Nam’s Tree Song 

Video 10: ForestBreath  by  Niamh Cunningham 

Video 11 : Protective Peach Tree , by  Ayse Emel Gümüs 

Video 12 : Bee Tree – part 1 Sycamore by Mick  Verspuij

Video 13: Winter Apples – John Mac Kenna

Video 14: Ancient Yew Trees – Sonia Gibbons

Video 15: Once I counted Birds – Cathy Fitzgearld

Palace  Sucrose Series 83 x 120 cm print on Aluminium  Niamh Cunningham 2020 (week 15)

Most of these are personal stories.  Submissions came from a range of different people in the US, Europe, Australia and Asia including a children’s writer, poets, dendrologists, artists, a dancer, a forester, an ant forest app user, photographers, academics and more. 

See further down this page for these links. 

The Second Beech  Niamh Cunningham 倪芙瑞莲2020 (week 17 of the Memory Palace of Trees)

Memory Palace of Tree Stories began in January 2020. Throughout 2020 different peoples tree stories were gathered from various people writers , artists, foresters , poets, and other people .

Ice Willow , Sucrose 8.7.2020 Print on Aluminium , Niamh Cunningham -Kosimas Willow Story 

Memory Palace of Tree Stories began in January 2020. Throughout 2020 different peoples tree stories were gathered from various people writers , artists, foresters , poets, and other people .

Chestnut – Park Tree Sucrose Series original Sucrose 50 x 50 cm  Niamh Cunningham 2020 (week 12)


Open Call for your tree story on video 

Memory Palace of Trees will continue in 2021. This year the submissions will be in video format. If you have a story you can tell in less than a minute (less than 60 seconds), please  find your favorite tree sit under it and video yourself  on your phone telling the story. I can help with the editing and add the English or Chinese subtitles.  Please ensure the sound quality of your recording is clear.  If you are in Beijing I can come and video you if you wish. Please ask if you have any questions about this. 

Looking forward to hearing from you.  Please email me at



Jinan Tree Song  Sucrose Series, print on aluminium 158 x 120cm  Niamh Cunningham 2020


Here is a one minute video clip  for the November  2020 tree story . 

Ladybird of DongXiaokou (6 min 40 secs) video Niamh Cunningham 2020   Dancer: Zhang Yi , Music Credit: Ciorras 


I want to say a huge THANK YOU to ALL contributors and I will be in contact soon to thank each of you properly. Your stories will act as important stations (or installations) in the Memory Palace of Trees and will be a part of larger future artworks