Earlier this year I was asked to join an exhibition in Australia, curated by Rick Bannister. The exhibition is called “The Keg Show”. Twelve artists were given a keg to customize, and then throughout June, each keg would then go on display in Byron Bay, Gold Coast, and Sydney art shows.
For the past year I have been living in Southern California. The landscape is arid dry desert, and very beautiful, but I often crave the tropical smells and humid climate of the rainforest from my home, on the East coast of Australia. My art work is inspired by The Nightcap Oak, which is found in the Big Scrub rainforests of northern New South Wales.
My creature, Mr Nightcap Oak, is a bit of a booze hound (not surprising since his innards are a keg). He belongs to the Eidothea genus of the Proteaceae family and grows up to 40m tall. Uniquely found in the Big Scrub of Northern New South Wales, Mr Nightcap Oak is as ancient as the super continent of Gondwana and is now classified as an Endangered Species.
The Big Scrub was once the largest expanse of subtropical rainforest in Australia, extending over 75,000 hectares between Byron Bay, Ballina and Lismore, and today less than 1 percent remains.
If we keep cutting these gentle giants down, our children in the future won’t get the chance to appreciate these beautiful trees, and so I created a sad stump of the Nightcap Oak. He holds the last green leaf of his once great ancient foliage as a reminder that once he dies, there will be no more.
I hope that my creature Mr Nightcap Oak will help raise awareness for the diminishing Big Scrub rainforest and threatened species within that diverse ecosystem.
100% profit of the sale of Mr Nightcap Oak will be donated to Rainforest Rescue, a non-profit organization that has been protecting and restoring rainforest in Australia and internationally since 1998 by promoting projects to re-establish rainforest by planting, maintenance and restoration programs.
Please check out Rainforest rescue’s website and learn more about the beautiful Nightcap Oak.