One Earth (left) is a smaller version of an installation named Tree of Love (right), created in the heart of the Sandilands Provincial Forest of Manitoba, Canada. On September 7, 1997, a group of family and friends drove 80 kilometers from Winnipeg, to reach the great boreal forest growing on what was once the beach of prehistoric Lake Agassiz. Carrying ladders and a picnic, the group selected a 30 foot white spruce as the perfect tree to decorate. At the end of the day, all decorations were taken down and the caravan returned to the city.
The ornaments placed on the Tree of Love were made using reclaimed images depicting a wide variety of life forms and objects of human accomplishment. Their fragility and ephemeral quality reflect the vulnerability of each living heart, and that of the Earth. The subjects represented evoke the multitude of things that touch the heart, the large diversity in nature and in human society, and the universality of human emotions. Brilliant colours were used to lift the spirits of viewers, and to send a message of love and peace on the wind by means of waving ribbons. In this installation bare branches come to life, blossoming with unique, heart-shaped images, reminders that beauty is everywhere, and all is worthy of respect and consideration.
It is my dream that each of these hearts become the seed from which to grow another Tree of Love in another location, another city, another country, until the sky is filled with messages of love gently flowing among the clouds. May these Trees of Love serve to create community, with all participants trusting that their loving spirit will be felt across the vast expanses of land and sea, and will grow and blossom in the universal language of the heart.