Deforestation — Chenelle Maharaj

My work investigates environmental issues. My inspiration came from seeing large deposits of garbage/trash – plastic bottles, styrofoam containers – all over the country in drains, on the roadside and even in the water. That drove me to think about the environmental crisis present in today’s society, not only in our country, but around the world. I also saw trees cut into pieces that were just left on the roadside, as well as all the land that is constantly being cleared/burnt in order for developments to be built.

My installation addresses the particular topic of deforestation. I have used found tree stumps to help enhance my message. These are stumps which I have collected from around my environment. The piece showcases a number of the tree stumps placed on the floor. The stumps are different in diameter to show that all trees are affected by deforestation no matter what kind they are or how old the tree is. The concentric tree rings are highlighted in colour to represent the factor of time. Thus suggesting that we will run out of time to have a future on the earth if we continue to destroy/cut down trees. Over a period of time, by cutting down or destroying the trees leads to a number of issues. Each ring is representing a certain issue. This includes loss of biodiversity/wildlife, unstable soil, which leads to the destruction of the natural landscape, not having the trees present will lead to an extreme rise in temperature resulting in climate change and ultimately calling our future into question. It is designed to be a simple installation that is visually appealing to whoever views it. The work is a reflection of me because preserving and taking care of the environment is something I care about, and it is something I think others, who are not concerned, should give a second look, considering how the environment impacts on us as humans and our future.

— Chenelle Maharaj


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