by Elaine Ling
Out of the arid and infertile regions of Africa, Madagascar and Australia, the Baobab Tree grows to a gigantic size, one of the largest living things in the world. With a potential lifespan exceeding 1,000 years, the miracle of this tree is that it is a renewable source of material for the essentials of life: textiles, nets, baskets and roofing.
Its fruit is a rich source of nutrition and medicine. I am intrigued by the role that this thousand year old giant plays in the lives of its human neighbours. It is an enduring presence, perhaps older than the legends passed down from generation to generation, its roots deeply intertwined with daily existence.
The images in this exhibition reflect both the resilience and transience of life as I partner the Baobob with a person from the community: a grandmother, a grandfather, a young man, a young woman, a mother, a boy child, a girl child. I search for a person who happens to be living within close proximity of the tree to capture their unique relationship.
This project will encompass portraits of people of many origins with their trees. These images are from Mali, S. Africa and Madagascar.