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Sometimes you need to look behind you

Christchurch, New Zealand


We are all used to the idea of sitting on a tree seat looking out at a great view, but we seldom appreciate the tree that we are sitting under, giving us shade and shelter. This installation turned the idea around and focused on the tree, in this case a 125 year old London Plane tree in the centre of Christchurch.

The 36-seater seat was superbly crafted for us by David Haig, a fine furniture maker ( from indigenous timbers. It encircles the tree and a final seat can be pulled in to create a perfect circle. Enclosing the seat is a forest of 500 tree ferns helping to create a place of quiet contemplation. After the installation the seat was gifted to the City of Christchurch and can be seen at the city’s Botanic Garden today. The final image is the seat in March 2021, a now well-loved feature of the garden.

Designed in collaboration with Tom Harfleet and constructed with a team of volunteers in Christchurch. Awarded a Gold at the Ellerslie Flower Show, New Zealand.