Jeanie Black, Mlitt Curatorial Practice

Rooted was a newly commissioned immersive art installation by Allison Smith which captured the delicate ecological balance and natural environment of a Scottish woodland while highlighting a wider collective aspiration to protect the symbiotic connection between humans and nature. Through time and negligence this connection has deteriorated, and the exploitation of the Earth’s natural resources has resulted in humankind now facing the biggest environmental emergency of all time, the climate crisis.

Presented in the urban gallery setting of the Woodlands Workspace, Glasgow on the 6th and 7th of August 2019. Rooted enveloped the viewer in an immersion of visuals, sounds and scents drawn from the natural world, while offering a moment to reflect upon the environmental prospects of our planet and what the future might hold if humanity is able to re-connect with nature, placing the Earth’s welfare before financial gain.

Allison’s deep respect for trees as living and sentient organisms and her concern over the devastating effects of deforestation on the planet directly informed and fuelled the work created for Rooted. Trees are the lungs of the Earth, they not only provide oxygen but also influence rain fall patterns and store vast quantities of carbon, as does the soil and decaying plant matter around them. This makes trees and the pressing calls for a much-needed plan for global reforestation fundamental components in the current bid to decelerate the effects of the climate crisis.

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