About the Artist: Ulan Murray & Rachel Burns
We have been living together and working collaboratively for over 20 years. During this time, we have developed a deep trust and understanding of each other’s language and perspectives. Between us we combine Ulan’s science/ horticulture and Rachel’ s creative arts backgrounds. The solitary tree is a reminder of the vestiges of an Australia’s past landscape. Our work aims to illuminate the interconnectedness between the tree and its root system and to illustrate the secret lives and language of trees. It can also be seen as a contradictory portrait of a tree with the juxtaposition of the serenity of its foliage against the often-chaotic nature of its root system. The image of the solitary tree represents the magnificent balance in nature. In this sense, the work juxtaposes many elements: the two of us; male/female, visible with the invisible; strength and fragility and the past and the present. The Royal Botanic Gardens are a source of inspiration for our work as they showcase many majestic single specimen trees.