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How to Protect an Oasis

2021|tree branches, vines | 30’x5’x8”
Part of my ongoing engagement research, I am interested in the ways handwork creates a space of conversation and a way for engagement with materials and somatic practice.  I spent 3 weeks with youth at the Oasis project farm and fishery.  We worked together to create this wattle fence while understanding and exploring the material possibilities of invasive plants. Fencing: made from branches collected by Tree Pittsburgh in annual street tree pruning into tension patterns with small circular openings and incorporating braided elements.
Posts: using existing ranch/style fence posts as heavy uprights (drilled to create captured ends of fence segments) and smaller locust posts between these.
Workshop days with Afterschool Program Maker’s Clubhouse and other volunteers through Tree Pittsburgh and other networks, created plastic bag twine, learn basic weaving technique and assisted in construction of structure. Co-facilitator Celeste Neuhaus helped seed conversations and encouraged connection to one another and other life on earth through conversation and hands on engagement.
Maintenance: Untreated, the fence will last around 2 years, however with initial and then biannual application of weatherproofing linseed oil, the fence can last up to 10 years. The vertical locust posts will last 25 years and can be rewoven with new materials in the future.

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