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© Angela Brew

The Amber Tree

 A never-ending global collaborative drawing




Draw with us from Afar.


Sign up here to be an 'Afar Artist'.

 For those who can't make it in body to Amber Tree workshops, please sign up for an "Afar' ticket. Send us a drawing or photo of a local tree where you are living, to include in the global forest. We ask for donations to cover admin and materials, and tree planting. 

Contact Us

The Amber Tree Story

2015-17 I drew trees and taught drawing in SE Asia.

Then I started drawing trees using a generative system based on observation. Each branch bifurcated (split into two) and branches wound around each other. 

 I shared the method of growing tree drawings with students etc

Matt, as an owl

At my friend Matt's funeral, we began drawing a tree together, in his memory. He was a wonderful artist himself, painting Somerset landscapes. We all added a few branches, and then more pages, making a quilt-like mosaic. One person drew an image of Matt as an owl in the tree. Since then, I have shared the tree with people around the world, and invited them to draw beings they have lost in the branches and roots. 

In the late summer of 2018 The Amber Tree was installed in a beautiful bell tent at Santosa Yoga Camp, as a memorial to Matt. .People played music and drew, in his memory. The tree grew. 

Following this, I have taken the tree with me to various countries, including to a tree drawing residency in Finland, to workshops in Highgate Wood, and most recently to New York.

Please contact me at brewdrawing@gmail.com if you would like the AMber Tree to come to you for a collaborative workhsop, or if you would like to send a tree drawing from afar.

The next plan is to copy all the A4 panels created up to now onto bamboo, so that there are copies of various iterations of the tree as it grows. We are going to sell these as Tree Towels, in the hope of reducing paper towel single usage. Also we are hoping to create Tree Shirts, by selling the A4 bamboo panels to be sewn onto old T Shirts, to upcycle into Tree Shirts. Watch this space!

The Amber Tree was most recently installed at Patricia Miranda's MAPSpace gallery, 4-11th November 2019.

People of all ages collaborated to grow the drawing over the week. Brew ran several collaborative drawing workshops, and was joined by Andrea Kantrowitz, TtD Director, over the final weekend, to share more drawing exercises and to host discussions on drawing, cognition and pedagogy.

Drawing Workshops:

Part I: Wednesday- Friday Nov 6-8, 10am-4pm
Led by Artist & researcher Angie Brew, PhD

Part II: Saturday Nov 9, 10am-4pm & Sunday Nov 10, 10am-1pm
Led by Artist researchers Angie Brew, PhD, and Andrea Kantrowitz, EdD
Sunday 2-4pm, Pop Up show & reception

Workshop I: Participants contributed to a monumental tree drawing, installed in the gallery for the week, drawing new branches and growing a forest family around the Mother Tree.

This 3-day workshop utilized Angie Brew’s method of slow observational drawing developed during her PhD research on drawing pedagogy and cognition, called The Seeing Hand. Participants created observational and collaborative drawings both independently and together, to grow the Amber Tree. 

Workshop II: Over the weekend, Dr. Angie Brew and Dr. Andrea Kantrowitz shared their ‘Thinking through Drawing’ professional and collaborative practices, and explored how drawing can help us to understand and to problem solve. The focus was on embodied drawing practices, and included discussions and drawing, and continued the work on the Amber Forest.
The two sessions culminated in a popup exhibition of The Amber Tree.

People were invited to send images from afar, which we printed and added to the Amber Forest. For every AFAR tree drawing sent to us we planted a tree in Madagascar in a Mangrove.