I am available to play a variety of roles in relation to individuals and/or groups. I am willing to work internationally. I am currently based in Toronto, Canada.
I have led workshops in Brooklyn ( at the Botanical Gardens) in New York, in Thunder Bay ( on the shores of Lake Superior), in High Park ( Toronto), in Jarna (Sweden as part of the Lifenet international conference). I can work with adults and/or children. Recently I led a workshop directed primarily at children and incorporated activities including storytelling. I have also taught the Tree Conversation work in a public school in downtown Toronto. Wherever there are trees and people this work is possible.
For the work to be effective I need to come to where you are minimum of a day in advance of the workshop to meet with trees to form a connection and ask their permission to work with them in this way.
I can do an evening or afternoon presentation ( 2 hours) and/or make a display of certain conversations. I have over 100 of the 700 images reproduced for display.
I have experience working with non-English speaking groups as long as there is one person in the group who speaks English and can translate the instructions for the artistic process.
For any work that is related to these different areas of research I would be happy to discuss a fee that works for the particular situation.
June 27th 2016
Here is a summary by a workshop participant of an unexpected encounter that led us to find some trees destined to be cut down to make a 4 year parking lot for construction vehicles. The trees are connecting people and asking to be protected and recognized!:
“From my perspective… after we sat with the second tree and went to the third tree to converse with the willow, a family of racoons was in the willow tree, blocking access so to say (and so cute!). So we concluded the day and accepted that we had learned what we we came for…
Until… on the way out we were talking, hugging and blocking the path when a couple of riders tried to get buy. Elyse said (something to the effect of) “why such a rush, why not stop for a hug?” To everyone’s surprise Adele knew one of the riders and he told us about 45 trees near Eglington and Oriole Parkway that are slated to be cut down so that the Metrolinx project can park their trucks for the next 4-5 years (a temporary parking lot). Adele called his wife, got the details and the four of us were off on a new adventure…
Elyse walked around the park and surveyed the trees, some were in need of care and needed to be cut down. She explained that there are three Linden trees near the path that are older and more involved with human society and suggested that we sit with one of these trees and ask What outcome can benefit human society? (or something to that effect… I’m not remembering the words as much as the feeling conveyed).
I decided to sit with a group of trees off to the side, Elyse sat with one of the Linden’s, K sat with one of the trees that had branches cut down until mostly just the trunk was left and Adele wrote and sat with one of the Linden’s also (I think).
My experience was profound… the energy was all over the place… at one point, after furiously sketching and drawing I just had a realization that nothing was going anywhere, there was all of this energy but it wasn’t grounded anywhere and wasn’t focused enough to have any power… It struck me how this was a reflection of the area (with so much going on and the trees feeling tired of trying to provide a safe haven for the children), my life of late hurrying and scurrying here and there trying to create things and also possibly the Metrolinx project trying to find an answer to their parking problem without really thinking it through.
We gathered to share Elyse notice how the Linden’s were providing a safe haven for the children and that crime would increase if the trees are cut down. K felt the pain of the tree she sat with having just been cut and then shifted more to hope, the red lines of blood and pain in her painting transforming… Adele sat and wrote and noticed the alarm of the situation (followed by police cars literally driving through the park area) and also the teeming life around, not just trees, but woodpeckers, squirrels, caterpillars, children, couples, etc.
After sharing we talked about what we can do. I didn’t know what to do or have a clear feeling on the situation. Elyse didn’t feel like sharing the information with the counsellor was likely to support them to have a thought that would help change the situation (as they weren’t present to feel the experience). Adele was inspired. moved to action and is going to take the tree conversation drawings with her to the counsellor and see where it goes from there).
As Elyse noted, it was quite a juxtaposition from the peace of the cemetery trees. That juxtaposition is still ringing true and loudly in my life today… I am looking at how I have been running around and how ineffective it is and how I can start to shift things and ground the energy to feel more peaceful.
This was quite a memorable and divine experience. I am grateful for the chance to sit with the trees, for a new found way to connect with them and for the experience of sharing this richness with all of you. Thank you all. Brie.”
Work related to the Tree Conversations: