Ash: Stories of Living and Dying

February 2021
Edited by Charlotte Day, Brian Martin and Melissa Ratliff

‘Ash Stories of Living and Dying’, Tree Stories Reader, Monash University Museum of Art publications, reader to accompany large survey exhibition Tree Stories at MUMA

Tree Story brings together creative practices from around the world to create a ‘forest’ of ideas relating to critical environmental and sustainability issues. At its foundation—or roots—are Indigenous ways of knowing and a recognition of trees as our ancestors and family. Produced to accompany a major international group exhibition and podcast, the reader connects tree stories across time and place.

Featuring varied contributions from thirty-three exhibiting artists and projects in a fully illustrated colour section—ranging from early 1970s environmental actions to plant communications—Tree Story includes newly commissioned and republished texts from artists, activists, ecologists, scholars, curators and authors that foreground First Nations’ knowledges, reflect on the rights and agency of trees, explore notions of cultural heritage, reveal knowledge of tree networks and consider loss in times of climate emergency.

Together, the diverse contributions in Tree Story pose the question: what can we learn from trees and the importance of Country.

Ash: Stories of Living and Dying reports on the collective memorial process of The Ash Project and traces the trees history of migration to Australia via writings and lectures by the founder of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne Baron Ferdinand Von Mueller.