January 2019 | Emma Hodgkinson
AWARD WINNING textile artist Cindy Watkins has always had an appreciation for the natural world, and after reading a book titled The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohllenben, she felt inspired to combine her passion of artistic quilting with her love for trees.
Residing by an ancient forest in Golden Valley, Cindy would go on nature walks, collecting gum leaves, tree bark, and other natural debris that she would use to dye silk that would later become a part of an awe-inspiring project that Cindy would later call ‘The 5000 Trees Project’.
“The 5000 Trees Project gives me the opportunity to develop a style that is uniquely mine whilst helping our environment,” said Cindy.
Cindy began by designing trees on paper, soon after she began to quilt her trees in a similar design. She used the naturally hand-dyed silk in most of her trees, experimenting with different colours and designs to create her unique and inspiring quilts.
As well as the silk, there are several other distinct features on Cindy’s quilts that represent her inspiration. Such as the detailed stitching that represent elements of nature, and root systems connect all of her trees together. Cindy says “The Hidden Life of Trees talks about how trees communicate through their root systems, supported by scientific evidence.”
Cindy’s goal is to stitch the grand total of 5000 trees, donating $2.00 to Landcare Tasmania for every tree that she sells. Ultimately aiming to raise $10,000 to help protect and improve the natural environment.
“Without trees, nothing would survive. They provide fresh air, water, shelter, food, and warmth.”
Cindy currently has her art displayed in the Wilderness Gallery at Cradle Mountain Hotel until the 28th February 2019. Her artwork can also be viewed at Brush Rabbit in Deloraine, and The Textile Artist in Launceston. So far, she has stitched 1000 trees.
Photo | Emma Hodgkinson