Week 15 Roots of Recovery


With little or no new cases it seems we are finally approaching the beginning stage of tentative recovery.

Happy Easter.

Keep well Keep Safe Keep Strong.


This weeks story comes from Carissa Welton . She is an environmental educator and founder of eco minded arts collective, Greening the Beige, that ran in China from 2007 – 2017. Currently she is working on a climate fiction (Cli-Fi) short story series for children.

Sea Blanket sucrose , mixed media, 34x 50 cm Niamh Cunningham 倪芙瑞莲2018

My hometown is Ann Arbor, (Michigan US) which is also affectionately known as ‘Treetown’. The first village in 1824 was named Annarbour. It was named after the early settlers’ wives (both named Anne). However the native tribes called it Kawgeeshkawnick which ironically means “saw drilling place”.


I was thinking about the irony of the term ‘Treehugger’

There is evidence to show that spending time with plants and trees generate immense health benefits such as lower cortisol levels, lower pulse rate and blood pressure. There are specific studies of how trees have helped people with mental illness, ADHD, depression and headaches (Blinded By Science, Matthew Silverstone)


Not only that but the research journal ‘Environmental Pollution’ found that trees prevented 850 human deaths and 670,000 cases of acute respiratory symptoms in 2010 alone. That was due to the tree leaves absorbing harmful gases and blocking particulate matter, resulting in the removal of 17 tonnes of air pollution.

The Japanese have practiced “forest bathing” (shinrin-yoku). There is a book by Dr Qing Li that explains the scientific reasons that trees benefit human health.

Aroma of the forest..

Plants and trees emit substances which help protect themselves from harmful insects and germs. Studies of these  phytoncides have been found to  which increase white blood cell production supporting the immune system.



Memory Palace of Trees 2020 is an 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. You are cordially invited to tell me your story of a tree or trees. (email : niamh@niamhcunningham.com) I would love to hear from you . Each week throughout 2020 a story will be posted with either an artwork already made or perhaps your story will inspire me to make a new work!