Tree Whispers – Walking the Horizon

Through ‘Tree Whispers – Walking the Horizon’, Zierle & Carter explore notions of human relationships to nature within an urban environment. This live performance gives voice to the artists’ collection of letters from previous projects, in which participants were invited to write a love letter to nature. The letter writing commenced amongst ancient woodlands on the outer periphery of Bristol in the UK with the contributions being first gathered in a hollow tree, and recently in a built up city of 30 million people in China during a research and production residency. Now after a germination and percolation time the letters have been opened and form the foundation for Zierle & Carter’s latest investigation into how to draw the outside in and enter our own wilderness of the heart. This has led to a precarious dance along the edge, or rather a stalking of our own tail, asking repeatedly where does nature begin and where does it end? Through this process led durational piece the rich tapestry of nature’s intimate relations is woven together with our human concerns of how to be close to nature, can we trust our own nature, how far can we go and what actions do we take to step into the ‘Wild’ wherever we are?  

Interdisciplinary, multi-sensory and often site and context responsive, over the last decade Alexandra Zierle (DE) & Paul Carter’s (UK) practice has spanned performance and live art, socially engaged practice, video, sound, installation, and photography. Through their collaborative practice, Zierle & Carter critically examine different modes of communication and what it means to be human, addressing notions of belonging, dynamics within relationships, and the transformation of limitations. Their work sites an embodied investigation into human interactions and encounters, acting as an invitation to venture into the spaces in-between the external and internal, permanent and transient, spoken and unheard. The work fundamentally explores society’s conventions, traditions, and rituals, often flipping them on their head, reversing orders, and disrupting the norm.

Their work has been widely exhibited internationally throughout Europe, Canada, United States, South America, Australia, in Asia and Africa, such as the inaugural Venice International Performance Art Week, Federation Square in Melbourne, Grace Exhibition Space New York, Rapid Pulse in Chicago, and presented a new world premiere commissioned triptych for SPILL Festival of Performance 2015, London. This year the duo have a solo exhibition in China at the Chongqing Changjiang Contemporary Museum for the PARABIOSIS – Chong Qing Chang Jiang International Contemporary Art Exhibition. Twice recipients of Arts Council England grants, including support for a residency at the Banff Centre in Canada, Zierle & Carter’s work is featured in ‘Personal Structures Time – Space – Existence’ from The Global Art Affairs Foundation and Manuel Vason’s recent ‘Double Exposures’ publication.