9/11 Survivor Pear Tree Immortalised in Art at Tea Gardens

‘Hope – The Survival Tree’ is a tribute to a real Symbol of Hope around the world.

HOPE is immortalised in a very special artwork now on display at Galleries in the Gardens on Marine Drive, Tea Gardens.

Entitled ‘Hope – The Survival Tree’, the sculpture is a mixed-medium piece made from clay and copper wire, and was produced by local artist Hannah Matilda for the Anderson Art Award competition, hosted by the gallery earlier this year.

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“I never know what will happen when I put my hands to clay, but this one allowed me to experiment successfully with the challenge of two mediums of art,” Hannah told NOTA of the sculpture’s practical aspects.

The back story however, goes much deeper, with the sculpture paying homage to the Survivor Pear Tree that is located at Ground Zero, the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City, back in 2001.

“I went to Ground Zero in 2005 and looked into the horror,” Hannah told NOTA, “and we returned in 2014, co-incidentally on the same day that the new Freedom Tower (one World Trade Centre) was officially opened.

“It was quite scary, with people in backpacks all over the place, and many undercover police, it turned out.”

A brief description situated next to the sculpture outlines the Survivor Tree’s story: how it was dragged out of the rubble, broken and bare-rooted, thought to be dead by many, but taken, nonetheless, to a nursery in the Bronx.

Before the 9/11 tragedy, New York City Council had planted Callery pear trees, which can grow as tall as 8 metres, around the city’s financial district, presumably for their flowers – fruitings are rare and inedible for humans.

The survivor now grows tall and proud at Ground Zero 9/11 Memorial, a symbol of hope for all who visit.

Thanks to Hannah Matilda and her potent memories of New York, the concept of resilience, survival and rebirth now has a home at the Tea Gardens’ Galleries in the Gardens, too.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

The sculpture was a good opportunity to work with mixed media, in this case: clay and copper wire.

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