Commissioned by Dr. Nirmal Puwar, Sociologist at Goldsmiths University as part of the project Mourning, Mapping, Mobilising.

All of a sudden the trees had been chopped off, they were gone, with logs all over the place and mounds of sawdust blowing in the air. Though the trees were classified as protected, the city council raised no objections to the bulldozing making way for university developments at the junction of Cox St and Jordan Well in Coventry, West Midlands. A relation of kith and kin, developed from being passersby to civic green heritage, was unnecessarily severed, with trees that had stood tall for over fifty years, shifting, growing and sounding with the wind sun and rain, suddenly gone. To observe the shock of the sudden and unnecessary perplexing break, of what was part of the everyday and is no more, sociologist Nirmal Puwar, photographer Adele Mary Reed and urban sketcher Paul Chokran, engaged in an inter disciplinary site-specific collaboration. The tree felling and the scene left behind became an installation as well as an illustration of disregard for both civic and environmental heritage. [NP]

Via regular, prolonged site visits involving examinations and conversations over the devastation and smaller details of the ruins of stumps outside the front of the Graham Sutherland building, Coventry University’s arts faculty, Nirmal, Adele and Paul between them developed and reflected upon pictures, words, sounds and collections of natural materials. The film “In Memoriam: Tree Felling at The Plaza” [8.30 mins] produced by Adele, is a composition of the findings gathered during the lockdown months of Spring and Summer, 2020. [AMR]