Tanya Bailey

I can attach numerous plant related labels after my name: Horticulturalist, Plant Scientist, Restoration Ecologist, Forest Ecologist, Population Geneticist, Planting Designer and Gardener. I have also spent much of my recent working life physically attaching labels to plants: labels with numbers that directly relate each eucalypt seedling to its mother tree (from which I collected seed), its pedigree and provenance.  These labelled seedlings have then been planted in large revegetation trials in the Tasmanian Midlands aimed at reconnecting and restoring degraded forests. I have brought this experience to the Marathon Project as an invited scientist and have, eventually, woven it in to my personal response to the place.

During my first visit to Marathon I spoke to other participants about the trees on the property, why they are important, why some are dying, why these forests need the protection and care of people such as the Camerons and why they need to be actively managed. By my second visit I realised that while I may not be an artist, my work planting forests is creative and so focusing on trees special to the Camerons, documenting them, collecting their seed, propagating them and eventually planting their offspring back on Marathon to further their stories seemed a natural fit.