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Tim Whiteley – Jordan River Learning Federation

Three 4m tall sculptural trees


Trees in many cultures represent knowledge and its attainment. Often larger trees would form impromptu outdoor classrooms. The sculpture of three stylised trees aim to represent and explore three of the myriad facets of education; Language, the Sciences and the Arts.

Words and symbols are the tools we humans use to communicate our thoughts, knowledge and ideas to each other. They are also the building blocks of how we educate. Representative words and symbols of each of the subjects spiral up the Corten steel trunk of each of the trees. Viewed from a distance they emulate the pattern of bark. Up close and readable they aim to show the complexity and diversity of each of the subject matters.

The Language Tree aims to represent some of the multitude of differing languages of our world, starting at the roots with some of its earliest forms; like the spoken word and Dreamtime stories of the Australian Aborigines, to Greek, Latin, Sanskrit then European forms, from which much of modern Australian English evolved. Languages are fluid. Through time, constantly evolving, morphing and borrowing from each other. Currently they are experiencing exponential change as we embrace modern technology through the internet, social media and SMS.

The Science Tree looks at some of the multiple fields of the sciences, some of its more famous proponents and theorists and the laws that help to define our knowledge of how we live and define the world we live in.

The Arts Tree looks at the many varied practices of the arts sphere and some of its more famous Tasmanian and mainland exponents.

The trees act as a space for students and visitors to congregate, ponder and shelter under the dappled light of the leaves.

This work is part of the Tasmanian government’s public art collection commissioned through the Tasmanian Government Art Site Scheme.


Tim Whiteley is a sculptor working from his studio in the forests of Golden Valley near Deloraine. Having trained in both the graphic arts and automotive engineering, Tim has worked in a variety of disciplines from building racing cars and restoring vintage cars to being a professional digital artist. He made a lateral shift in 2000 moving from Sydney to Tasmania to pursue a career in Fine Art. Rather than ignoring his diversified past he now draws on those experiences, blending and morphing them to inform his unique brand of sculpture.

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Tim Whiteley – Jordan River Learning Federation

Green Point Road, Bridgewater, Tasmania, Australia

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