Memory Trees

cherry trees


In 1997, I was chosen as the artist-in-residence for Vancouver's Marpole-Oakridge Community Centre. During that time, I collected many anecdotes about trees in the neighbourhood, especially those which people said had been important to them in some way. I also started an extensive photo archive of the local trees. Since that time, many of them have been removed, to accommodate development or because it was thought some sort of hazard to the public. In other cases the trees I photographed have grown substantially or have been replaced by other trees. So the archive serves as a kind of time capsule, documenting Marpole-Oakridge's urban forest circa 1997.

I owe a great debt of gratitude to Carol Sogawa who was the co-ordinator of the community centre at the time. Carol set up numerous interviews for me with people in the community and also helped me locate many of the trees. This project wouldn't have succeeded without her knowledge of the community's culture and history.  Thanks also goes to Jil Weaving and Susan Gordon of the Vancouver Parks Department for facilitating the artist-in-residence program.


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