Birch Tree series

Ode to the Birch
After the fall
Birch 2
Urban developments
If a tree falls...
An ode to the felling of healthy trees


In February 2016, we purchased an older house in the middle of what turned out to be a new urban development on the Kapiti Coast in NZ. I watched as completely healthy mature trees were destroyed for the sake of the new builds that will not be built for another few years. A series followed, questioning the practice of felling for urban developments in NZ. As there is a growing body of scientific research that shows the importance of trees for our wellbeing, why are urban developers so keen to destroy rather than to relocate them? With new builds supplying the demand of an increasingly shortage of affordable homes in NZ, are we on the same path of turning this relatively lush island into a concrete jungle as many countries have done before us? 
Unable to completely detach myself from what is going on in the world whilst I am painting, some pieces are also a reflection of things I hear on the radio, drawing a parallel between the death of democracy elsewhere and the fate of the trees.

Here's a French poem that expresses similar sentiment: 

Nous n'irons plus au bois, les lauriers sont coupés.
Les Amours des bassins, les Naïades en groupe
Voient reluire au soleil en cristaux découpés
Les flots silencieux qui coulaient de leur coupe.
Les lauriers sont coupés, et le cerf aux abois
Tressaille au son du cor; nous n'irons plus au bois,
Où des enfants charmants riait la folle troupe
Sous les regards des lys aux pleurs du ciel trempés,
Voici l'herbe qu'on fauche et les lauriers qu'on coupe.
Nous n'irons plus au bois, les lauriers sont coupés.

Théodore de BANVILLE (1823-1891)

Technical Information: 

The series will be exhibited from the 3rd of June to the 22nd at the Paraparaumu library's Art Space. The opening will be held on the 3rd from 4 pm until 8.

 All pieces but one are 122 cm x 122 cm, most on canvas, some on aluminium. The largest is 244 cm x 122 cm. For more in this series, please view:

Purchase Details: 

Please contact me through if you are interested in purchasing a painting. The 122 cm x 122 cm ones are around $4500 ea. 

Written by

Micheline Robinson

21 Jan 2017