Photo © Colin Davison
Blossom Tree is a unique interactive project that contributes to the global field of mental health and wellbeing. The Blossom Tree helps us explore and express a host of life issues including grief, suicide, social injustice, wellbeing and hopes and fears for the future; helps transform how we can understand, address and talk about mental health, gradually breaking down the social stigma surrounding it. Through active participation, Blossom Tree encourages participants to take the first step in opening up conversations that can positively impact people’s lives and create meaningful experiences.
Situated in the gallery or taken into our community, Blossom Tree acts as a catalyst for conversation. Our trees cover subjects such as bereavement, suicide, bullying and loneliness to name but a few. The aim is to encourage reflection on a host of issues that we may find difficult to talk about. After being introduced to the project, participants are invited to write a personal message on a ribbon, fashion it into a blossom and hang it onto the tree. The message is thus obscured from view; this allows participants to freely express their feelings in a manner which is simultaneously private and communal, in a safe and non-judgemental space. It is hoped that this first step will encourage release and sharing of the issues being addressed.
So why the Blossom Tree?
Trees are a symbol of life: of both physical and spiritual growth, of both sturdiness and transience. Blossoms are associated with the coming of spring, and their arrival brings joy to people all over the world. But their beauty is short-lived, not unlike our own human experience. The Blossom Tree is a work which acknowledges this impermanence and celebrates the beauty of our lives. Once in bloom, The Blossom Tree serves as testament to the fragility and preciousness of our lives. Its message is an important one: through love, solidarity and strength, we the living can face our own transience.
Recent global events have affected all of us in one way or another, with some of us coping better than others. We face a long journey of recovery and hope to introduce our Blossom Tree project to as many people as possible and will be inviting other organisations to help with the delivery of this.