Karen Joan Watson: Eco-art installation “Crown of Thorns” – created as part of K.A.A.I.’s 10-year ecoart project — “Millennium Project: Year 2.”

Here is my love story for a red maple, as described for the online EcoArt Project: “Chosen as one of the artists for the environmental art project “The Millennium Project,” in 1992, I wandered the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area of Kingston, looking for a site where I could create an installation from the local materials. A majestic red maple appeared in a clearing on my walk in a shaft of sunlight, like a regal creature standing proud. I asked Jeff our artist coordinator whether the site was available. I couldn’t believe I would have the honour to work with this tree with such presence. Over the next two months, I sat under the maple with our baby daughter, communing and loving the space. Wavy branches had fallen to the ground with the wind and with age. Because I loved their shapes, I collected and placed them around the base of the maple. I wove the branches into a circle and held the joints in place with natural sisal. As I worked, I saw a crown of thorns. I resisted the religious metaphor, but the crown insisted. As a resonance, I asked my artist husband to hold the pieces of glass I had collected the year before in Ireland, and formed them into a glittering crown of thorns that we hoisted up onto a strong branch. Over time, the crown of thorns around the base went back into the ground, reclaimed by the forest and the grasses. I work with nature, and after my work highlights an area, the pieces return to their place in the natural order.”

In January 2022, I joined the Tree Songs 3 musicians and artists to talk about my eco-art in “Crown of Thorns” rehearsal video (10 mins).

Eco-art and heart story video: 2021 Video interview by artsvlogger-Multiple Arts: “Karen Joan Watson, Eco-Artist and Author, Ottawa, Canada” (45 mins)

Featured artist in eco-art (ecoart) book, Art for Earth’s Sake: The Millennium Project (2003)

River Stone Work, Ireland

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