For the last 20 years, Suzanne Husky has explored interactions among humans, animals, and plants through a multifaceted art practice that includes sculpture, installation, photography, and film. Forest (2007–9), a plush, playful grove of textile trees that range in height from one to six feet, takes inspiration from the history of environmental activism and the deforestation of giant sequoia redwoods throughout the Pacific Northwest, making reference to tree-sitters such as Julia “Butterfly” Hill, who lived for 738 days near the top of a giant sequoia named Luna and successfully negotiated to permanently protect the tree and a nearly three-acre buffer zone. Husky sculpts her trees from used clothes and found textiles, translating our cast-off clothing—informed by age and gender, class, culture, and politics—to the individualizing characteristics of trees, suggesting the deep interconnectedness of humans and their natural surroundings. Forest is both an homage to an ecological system that supports countless plant and animal species and a memorial to that same system under threat of erasure.
Forest, 2007–9; textiles; dimensions variable; courtesy of the artist and Galerie Alain Gutharc, Paris
Horticulture, ethno-botany, and the links between species are central elements in the life and work of Suzanne Husky. Since 2016, she and Stéphanie Sagot have worked together on the Nouveau Ministère de l’Agriculture (New Ministry of Agriculture), a subversive collaborative project through which they produce hybrid works that insinuate themselves in the interstices of neoliberalism and agribusiness.