Modern Matter

INSTALLATION - Modern Matter
STYLIST - Jo Ayling

Jo approached Nick with the extravagant idea to build an installation depicting our clumsy and often disruptive relationship with Mother Nature. She intended to display this association, often responsible for the artificial world we have contrived for ourselves, by reconstructing a tree using modern matter. Here begins the collaborative process…


Jo sourced a tree from a tree farm in The Southern Highlands. She had to consider the type of tree, shape, height, trunk girth, branch width and length, how they were grouped together and spread of the roots.


The maple tree was stripped of its leaves, it’s roots de-soiled and loosened and then suspended from three points in studio. The process that followed was an organic, fluid one. A week was spent in studio working on each build, testing different recycled materials and how they photographed. At times there was great excitement at how the pieces were coming together and moments spent feeling frustrated and bummed out when things weren’t working.


They quickly established that small matter would not work on a two metre tall tree without the luxury of months to work on the installation, not to mentioned heightened patience levels. They turned their attention to larger recycled objects and working with dramatic light, arrived at these three images without coming to blows, and although much nuttiness was endured, no injuries were incurred on this occasion.