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The Tree School_Scar Tree

The Tree School

Thursday 11 – Tuesday 23 March 2021
MADA Gallery

Tree Story is an exhibition that brings together creative practices from around the world to create a ‘forest’ of ideas relating to critical environmental and sustainability issues.

As part of Tree Story, MADA Gallery is hosting The Tree School (11–23 March 2021), a place where people gather for communal learning grounded in lived experience and community connection. The tree, a living being with its own characteristics and history, creates a physical and metaphorical commons where ideas and actions can emerge through critical, free and independent discussion. The Tree School reclaims a different way of learning, one that cuts across conventional disciplines of knowledge and welcomes marginalised forms. By activating a critical and egalitarian learning environment, The Tree School operates according to the interaction and interests of the participants.

Over the course of two weeks, yarning circles, discussions and embodied conversations are being held that are both open to the public and by invitation only. The program has been shaped by conversations with a group of Monash educators who share an urgency to decolonise, unlearn and relearn.

At the centre of The Tree School is the Boon Wurrung Tree, which with its very presence alludes to the foundation, strength and resilience of Aboriginal culture. The conversations and yarning circles that take place around the tree are informed by it, bringing to the forefront ideas of caring for Country, learning from trees and storytelling.

Conceived by architects Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti and coordinated by Yorta Yorta and Wurundjeri-Woiwurrung artist, organiser and educator Moorina Bonini, The Tree School curriculum in Melbourne has been developed in dialogue with N’arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs AM and Dr Brian Martin of the Wominjeka Djeembana Indigenous Research Lab at Monash University, and colleagues from the Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Monash Science, Monash Education and Monash Art Design & Architecture, including Mark Romei.

Since 2014, The Tree School has taken place in Bangalore, São Paulo, Porto, Beirut, Eindhoven, Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong as an architectural installation and experimental education program.

Image: Boon Wurrung Tree. Photo: MUMA

The Tree School
PDF: The Tree School Program

View and download The Tree School program
Tree School: Embodied Conversations

Thursday 11 – Tuesday 23 March 2021
Guided tour of the Tree School and Tree Story

Saturday 13 March 2021, 2–4pm
Water, Bodies and Nourishment

Saturday 20 March 2021, 12–2pm

This conversation has been supported by Curatorial Practice at Monash University.

Tree Story logos