If trees have memories, respond to stress, and communicate, what can they tell us? And will we listen? This is a stunning international collaboration that reveals how trees make our world, change our minds and rewild our lives – from root to branch to seed. In this beautifully illustrated collection, artist Katie Holten gifts readers her visual Tree Alphabet and uses it to masterfully translate and illuminate pieces from some of the world's most exciting writers and artists, activists and ecologists.
Holten guides us on a journey from prehistoric cave paintings and creation myths to the death of a 3,500-year-old cypress tree, from Tree Clocks in Mongolia and forest fragments in the Amazon to the language of fossil poetry. In doing so, she unearths a new way of seeing the natural beauty that surrounds us and creates an urgent reminder of what could happen if we allow it to slip away.
Printed in deep green ink, The Language of Trees is a celebratory homage filled with prose, poetry and art from over fifty collaborators, including Ursula K. Le Guin, Robert Macfarlane, Zadie Smith, Radiohead, Elizabeth Kolbert, Amitav Ghosh, Richard Powers, Suzanne Simard, Gaia Vince, Tacita Dean, Plato, and Robin Wall Kimmerer.
Katie Holten is an artist and activist, born in Ireland and living in New York City and Ardee, Ireland. In 2003, she represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale. She has had solo exhibitions at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and Dublin City Gallery: The Hugh Lane. Her drawings investigate the entangled relationships between humans and the natural world. She has created Tree Alphabets, a Stone Alphabet, and a Wildflower Alphabet to share the joy she finds in her love of the more-than-human world. Her work has appeared in the Irish Times, New York Times, Artforum, and frieze. She is a visiting lecturer at the New School of the Anthropocene. If she could be a tree, she would be an Oak.