Handmade paper

Treewhispers is a traveling, ongoing, ever changing and growing art installation. It is an international collaboration involving paper, art and stories relating to trees. The artists, Pamela Paulsrud and the late Marilyn Sward gathered round, handmade papers from participants around the world. On the papers, contributors have remembered a tree or the spirit of a tree. Some contributions are simply a magnificent example of beautiful handmade paper and some include text and/or imagery. Some suggest tree rings, depict leaves or illustrate a personally significant tree; others are imprinted with a poem or a meaningful story relating to trees. The handmade paper is bound together to create large tree assemblages and ultimately a "forest" of hanging tree rings.

The work of professional artists is displayed alongside elementary school class projects. Children at Chicago's Field Museum, adults at The Morton Arboretum, students and teachers from inner city schools and participants from university art galleries have been involved in Treewhispers. The process and the content are shared through the web site As thousands have participated, Paulsrud and Sward have been overwhelmed by the commonality of their power.

Trees have a profound impact on human lives. Trees are symbols, resources — and inspirations. In remembering our own personal experiences with trees we deepen our appreciation, our awareness, our connection to trees, to the earth and to others. We all have at one time in our life experienced a tree in one way or another. We climbed trees with our friends seeing who could climb the highest, built a tree house that was our refuge, walked through a cool dense forest in the springtime, plucked a ripe red apple off a tree, speculated on what kind of a tree we would be-on a hot summer evening, did you run to a tree for safe base when you played tag? Somewhere within you there is a tree story. Just as the rings of a tree embody the stories of the tree, so too we carry the stories of trees. These stories inspire us to renew our sense of wonder. They connect us to one another through shared experiences as they deepen our understanding to our connection with nature. Many of us discovered that trees listen quite well — and some may even speak to those who listen closely. Treewhispers allows the message to reverberate.

You are invited to participate. Click HERE to find out how!