Save Alexandra Park Trees: A Love Letter by Teresa Green

RIP Red Sycamore Avenue

Dear Alexandra,

It’s been nearly three weeks since we started hacking trees off you left, right and centre. My heart breaks into a thousand pieces that we can’t fix the damage that has been done. Please forgive us. I owe you so much. Many a morning I’ve woken and been unable to get out of bed but the mere thought of running through the outstretched arms of Red Sycamore Avenue boughed heavy with green, yellow, orange and red leaves has motivated me to get up for years. You make me want to live! And all from trees that just stand there. But RIP Red Sycamore Avenue. You are no more. You have been felled nee murdered. And lie horizontal on your backs like lazy cheap whores instead of being my first true love of the day. On the second Saturday of protest I walked with Nev, a mountain of a man, in his grey towelyn hoodie and matching trackie b’s down Newly Decimated Avenue, we both had tears in our eyes and we almost held hands.

‘They’re heartless cunts,’ he said.

I couldn’t say anything. The sight of light brown discs of wood chainsawn open and scattered through the park like lost Connect 4 counters was too sad for words.

save alexandra Park, eco warriors, MCC, manchester city council,But for that moment as strangers we were brought together. Amongst the tree graveyard are some tattered tents. More strangers brought together. The strange brothers and sisters of Moss Side and Whalley Range and Trafford. They have been here since the felling began three weeks ago. I don’t know what they’d be doing normally if they weren’t trying to save the park trees. When you look at the destruction of 50 of the 400 trees already taken down to make way for tennis courts the situation seems hopeless. Yet the protestors have hope. This is the sign of first rate intelligence and compassion in human beings. Being able to find hope in a hopeless situation. Lots of them have become ill from their cold and wet vigil day after day and night after night in the park. Some days a bearded black leather jacketed protestor psychs out the police by filming them with his camcorder in their faces and on demo Saturdays when the community comes out in triple figures he rouses them with shouts of Whose trees? Our trees! Another protestor says let’s go to the homes of the council and start chopping trees down in their back gardens and see how they like that. A cop snickers at a woman who is shouting until she’s blue in the face that he should speak to his boss about quitting because it isn’t his job to kill birds it’s his job to save them.

Oh Alex I’m sorry your trees are being torn down and wildlife put at risk for tennis courts. Apart from the glaring fact that the park has tennis courts already albeit run down and in need of some TLC, and if we’re being honest, much like the rest of you. You are a big raggedy and do need a bit of a facelift. But tennis courts?! FFS. London creeps closer every day. We are not Manchester-upon-Thames. It is an urban park. It has an urban edge. Some days when I’m running through you and stare at the over-grown bushes I wonder if someone’s going to jump out and mug me. It makes me run faster. I am going to live longer. You are life-giving. So I’ve come to visit you again today on Valentine’s Day to show you some love. There are only two protestors left. A man and a woman. It feels like the end of the affair. A strange garden of Eden with not an apple tree in sight.

Grey Spotted WoodpeckerNo says the owl-like woman grabbing my arm earnestly we are not here to stop them we are here to make them question how they’ve done this. We are wholesome. We are right in what we are doing. As security dismantle the barricades she is worried they will now be arrested for camping in a public space. We move a tent backwards out of the swamp onto firmer drier land towards Claremont Road. She is right. In the end everything will be alright even if it isn’t alright. Mother Nature shall prevail and the trees shall all grow up and rise again. She is too powerful and does after all own all of the higher moral ground.

Thank you Alexandra for being my lungs of the city,

Love Teresa Green xx

It’s not over ’til it’s over. Keep supporting the campaign:

facebook.com/savealexandraparktrees

www.savealexandraparktrees.wordpress.com

twitter: @saveAPTrees

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Snezana Pupovic: The Art of Emotion by Nikki Wordsmith

World Event Young Artist, Montenegro, best collage, best illustration, best pictures in the world

Book of Emotion by Snezana Pupovic

I was hurtling along on a train from Manchester to Nottingham waiting on a text to see if an old friend was going to make it to meet me at the World Event Young Artist where she was exhibiting. We’d had a good time in the past then a falling out and now we were making a hash of trying to get the friendship back on track. An hour later I knew she was going to be a no-show. At the venue I had a heavy heart and couldn’t see her work clearly, then a picture called Secret on the opposite wall with a bright blue eye poking out of it caught my attention and WHOOSH! art did that thing that it does best – it helps make sense of our emotions, allowing new personal truths and a chance to be a better person perhaps?

World Event Young Artist, best graphic design, best collage, best drawings

Secret Snezana Pupovic

I was moved. A few hours later I put a call out on the blog:

It’s difficult to find anything about this young artist whose work I recently stumbled into at the 2012 World Event in Nottingham.  A quick ging-gang-google reveals that she was born (1989), lives and works in Podgorica, Montenegro, a country squished in-between Croatia, Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Her homeland has a beautiful coastline onto the Adriatic Sea that gives the place its main economy – tourism – until the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s in neighbouring countries crippled that industry. Perhaps this is why her airy colourful images belie content with a much blacker heart. Who knows? Not me. I’m just guessing. Snezana get in touch so I don’t have to keep babbling on about the place where you come from instead of what’s going on with you.

To be continued…

A couple of months later in November an email landed in my inbox:

Dear Nikki,

I just see your text about my work which you seen in Notingham on World Event Young Artist Festival. Thank you for publication so much  

Best regards, Snezana

Since then a trail of emails have kept us in contact while this talented 23-year-old graphic designer, illustrator, drawer and painter graduated last month from Faculty of Fine Arts, Podgorica, Montenegro, picking up a bagful of best student awards and scholarships on the way.

Currently working in a publishing house, she uses a wide range of mix media materials such as gouache, ink, watercolor, pens and collage in her extensive portfolio but it is drawing and painting that are her first love as demonstrated in the deeply moving fine art pictures she creates.

Last week she took some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few quick questions:

What are the significant moments that have brought you to be the person you are today?

I am not sure in existence of those moments; in fact, I think that person is born as is. While the good or bad moments are those which “force” you to choose direction and they actually participate in building of a person’s character. We are all different characters, so for each of us these moments isn’t same. In fact every moments which touch us, actually influence in building us.

Tell me about your art, one thing, one picture or a story that sums up your practice?

Our emotional states, how they effect on our lives and our bodies, and the way they can lead us is the core topic of my artworks. I prefer sensible souls and their states of mind and emotions. Sensible souls are those which feel and experience much more of other souls.

Anything you want to say?

Works which I have created in last two years talk about very sensible souls, and how their divine emotions enlightens their souls, but in same time that strong emotion can kill their bodies.  In working and thinking process in one moment I asked myself:

What would happen if these two souls met each other?

How to build a relationship between them?

Would they be in love and how would their souls and bodies behaved in that case?

With this question I continue my work based on topic “Two Souls”, I have created a lot of works on this theme, but “Two Souls” aren’t done for me, I am still working on it…

 

World Event Young Artist, Montenegro, Yugoslavian art, Faculty of Fine Arts Podgorica

Love Me by Snezana Pupovic

 

And the Secret picture can you tell me a bit more about that?

His secret is fear of the world. The world where his body and soul existing produced deep in him a beautiful and difficult emotions…so his arms want to protect him of that strong feelings, but in same time his eye still want to feel because emotion is the only thing that makes you alive.

To see more of Snezana Pupovic’s work please visit her online portfolio where you can hire her skills and buy her work.

Check out the rest of the 999 artists from around the globe selected for the cultural olympiad World Event Young Artist 2012. 

Go on holiday to Montenegro and visit the beautiful coastline kissed by the Adriatic Sea.

Nikki Wordsmith flumps around the city in a big wooly hat looking for new and exciting people and places and things to write about.

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