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Absurditrees!

Around our cities and towns trees often take on strange shapes having been enthusiastically pruned while growing under power lines or overhanging busy roads.

The resultant tree forms are often bizarre and unusual.

I have been highlighting the absurd nature of this forced topiary for some time now and came up with the term "Absurditrees".

Absurditrees Exhibition Invitation. Kelly Southee. 2013

Back in 2011 I started thinking about how strange many of our city's trees look. Fig trees, Leopard Trees, Melaleucas (paper-barks), Callistemons (bottlebrushes), Tulipwoods, Tuckeroos and the list goes on... If they are planted anywhere near a road then forget it! They will be pruned by the local energy company to make way for above ground power lines. They will be cut in under by the whoosh of freight trucks. They suffer such a battering. But we love trees. And they are planted regardless of their tough life ahead!



In 2013 my first group of "Absurditrees" were exhibited in a solo show in Auchenflower. It was fun to highlight such beauties as 'Chook Tree', 'Birds Nest', 'St Lucia Surf', 'Swooning for Power' and 'Reclining'.


Holy Bloom by Kelly Southee. 2013

I continue to honour their forms. Several trees from the 2013 exhibition have now been cut down. Deemed too 'dangerous' after power companies had unsympathetically butchered them for years into one sided shapes or mere outlines of their former selves.


May we always remember the sacrifice that trees make for us.

'Chook Tree' is ready to be yours as a limited edition fine art print! This Leopard Tree may have been chopped down on Toohey Road in Tarragindi, but you can still get your slice of its uniqueness to treasure.

Chook Tree By Kelly Southee. 2013

Absurditrees Exhibition Invitation. 2013

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© 2020 Kelly Southee - Artist