Poetry project an ode to Winnipeg's unique tree canopy

An award-winning poet is asking Winnipeggers stop and appreciate the beautiful tree canopy overhead this weekend through an interactive project on Sherbrook Street.

Ariel Gordon's TreeTalk the 25th artistic project featured at Sherbrook Street restaurant

Ariel Gordon's TreeTalk is the 25th project at the Tallest Poppy as part of its artist-in-residence program. (Cliff Simpson/CBC)

An award-winning poet is asking Winnipeggers to stop and appreciate the beautiful tree canopy overhead this weekend through an interactive project on Sherbrook Street.

"Winnipeg's urban forest is remarkable," said Ariel Gordon, the artist in residence at the Tallest Poppy this month. "It's a thing that defines us."

Gordon's project TreeTalk began Saturday and runs until Sunday evening. It invites people who pass by to write a short poem, message or secret and then attach with a string onto a large elm that grows just outside the Tallest Poppy's patio.

Throughout the day she too is writing poems and attaching them to the tree. A two-time winner of Manitoba's Lansdowne Prize for Poetry, Gordon's works focus on urban nature.

"Basically I wanted to spend two days of the weekend contemplating the tree," she said of TreeTalk.

On Sunday, dozens of leaf-size cards were fluttering around the tree.

Andrew Eastman is the co-founder of Synonym Art Consultation which runs the restaurant's artist residency program.

Along with free meals, he said the residency helps bridge the gap between artists and the general public.

"Often artists are kind of holed away in their studios, writers as well, and so this is a nice way to allow the public to interact," said Eastman.

Gordon's TreeTalk ends Sunday evening with a writing workshop at the Tallest Poppy (103 Sherbrook Street) on ways to write about nature.

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