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The Money Tree Art Exhibition

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by Jenny Esots (subscribe)
A freelance writer and traveller who likes to explore the spiritual, literary and hidden gems of Adelaide and beyond.
Event: -
Art with a Voice
A current art exhibition showing at Fox Creek Winery highlights the awareness of the importance of the life of significant trees. The artist has been inspired to create these artworks in response to the brutal destruction of a tree over one hundred years old to make way for a suburban style housing development.

Brian Kowald featured in an article in the Southern Times Messenger on his exhibition The Money Tree
Brian Kowald featured in an article in the Southern Times Messenger on his exhibition The Money Tree


Brian Kowald is a local resident and artist of Willunga and he is passionate about nature in all its glory. Inspired by the recent controversy in Willunga about the felling of historical trees, he has created an exhibition of artwork expressing his thoughts and feelings about the importance of 'living' trees. Brian is happiest when submerged with nature and his art is an expression of the beauty he sees all around him.

Brian Kowald at the opening of his exhibition The Money Tree
Brian Kowald at the opening of his exhibition The Money Tree


Brian has combined his love of art and nature in this current exhibition. The artworks display ten significant trees in Willunga and McLaren Vale. The artist has chosen to portray a female nude form within the tree to signify the life force within. These forms are not immediately apparent as they blend in with the tree. The artist describes the trees as living beings that deserve respect.

Strout Road tree by Brian Kowald
Strout Road tree by Brian Kowald


Each significant tree has a native bird as an icon as part of its portrait. These are depicted out of scale to highlight the way the tree provides a home, shelter and food for these birds. The trees are huge and majestic with a wealth of accumulated history in their bark and gnarled trunks. The images are taken from a close angle looking straight up at the tree. The trees are depicted as landmarks in their own right.

Brian Kowald and guest at the opening of his exhibition The Money Tree
Brian Kowald and guest at the opening of his exhibition The Money Tree


Three special tree portraits to highlight -:

The Bell Tree
The Bell Tree is situated in the Bell Paddock opposite Willunga Uniting Church. The Bell Tree portrait features a large bell set high up in the tree. It was placed there over one hundred years ago (1895) when the church bell tower was demolished. And there the bell has remained. It can still be rung, however the bell tree is also home to a hive of bees very high up, which take offence when this occurs.

Kookaburras at Number 27
The second tree portrait to highlight among this collection is Kookaburras at Number 27. This tree is located near the Old Willunga Courthouse. This area is home to many kookaburras that are delightfully pictured in large format in this portrait.

The Money Tree
This one hundred plus year old tree was cut down recently to make way for a housing development in the middle of Willunga. The subject of protests and a newly formed Willunga Place of Green Trees community movement. This tree portrait features a ghostly appearance as it is no more. All that remains is a stump.

This is art with a voice. A memorial to the destruction of a beautiful tree that was part of the Willunga community. It also stands as a piece of shared history for all these magnificent trees to be honoured. The exhibition is on at Fox Creek Winery until August 2nd.
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Why? Art with a Voice
When: May 29th until August 2nd
Where: Fox Creek Winery Cellar Door 90 Malpas Road, McLaren Vale 5171
Cost: Free
Your Comment
I love the owl in 'Strout Road Tree'
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|11560) 922 days ago
The kookaburras are my favourite. But have also heard people who are very fond of the honeyeaters. worth having a closer look.
by Jenny Esots (score: 3|1031) 921 days ago
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