North Sydney’s Brett Whitely Place has been transformed into a forest of knitted wattle trees thanks to a local knitting group.
The display of 19 crocheted and knitted ‘tree trunks’ and 15 ‘wattle flower trees’ was installed across 93 three-metre poles on 23 July in time for National Tree Day and will remain until National Wattle Day on 1 September for local residents to enjoy. The project received support from North Sydney Council who provided assistance with the installation.
The ‘Wattle Wonder’ project was undertaken by the Stanton Yarnachist team, who represent the creative arm of North Sydney’s Wrap With Love organisation which works to protect people from the cold worldwide, providing over 400,000 warm wraps to people in over 75 countries to help ward off hypothermia. In the process of helping others, Wrap With Love helps build social community networks through art-making.
The artistic ‘Wattle Wonder’ installation is a fitting demonstration of the significance of trees in Australia’s cultural and environmental landscapes.
Wattles were specifically chosen for this project in anticipation for National Wattle Day which celebrates Australia’s iconic national floral emblem. With over 12,000 species, the wattle tree has great diversity and resilience, representative of our social fabric. Planet Ark also advocates the benefits of tree planting, with over 25 million trees being planted as part of National Tree Day since its inception in 1996.
With 68% of the world population expected to live in urban areas by 2050, the CBD setting of the art installation is emblematic of the increasing importance of trees in urban spaces. As found in Planet Ark’s National Tree Day report Living Cities: Trees in the Urban Environment, trees have countless benefits to happiness and wellbeing, urban planning and liveability, and climate change and the environment. Scientific evidence suggests that trees not only have a propensity to make us feel happy and improve our wellbeing, but a mere 5% increase in tree cover can reduce daytime temperatures by as much as 2.3°C.
- It is hoped that the ‘Wattle Wonder’ installation will help locals to appreciate the value of trees in urban areas. If you want to improve your urban environment but don’t know how to knit, don’t worry – check out the National Tree Day FAQ for tips on tree planting.
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