Commission for the Transformed program | Noble Park | 2017/18
Harmony Tree is a harmonious sound installation of bells that create a song of unity when activated by the blowing of the wind, transforming a space into a gathering place of peace and respect.
This work prompts a rediscovery of the natural world, through disrupting the normal sounds of a neighbourhood mainstreet, creating a new dialogue exploring notions of diversity, wellbeing and active listening.
Bells are one of the oldest percussion instruments, having strong historic and cultural value, they are a symbolic object that acts as a common link between a large variety of cultures, their unique ability to produce strong sounds that can reach vast distances was used in many ancient cultures as a mean of communication.
Located opposite the Post Office, 31-35 Douglas Street, Noble Park.
September 2017 until April 2018.
This initiative is supported by the City of Greater Dandenong.
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Harmony Tree, Harmony Tree if I stay will you play a song for me? A song of peace and clarity. One of joy and playful whimsy. Oh Harmony Tree play a song for me.
This poem was written by local community member, Katherine Francis Gill,
in response to Harmony Tree.
'I suppose it's for selfish reasons that I want the world to be a better, kinder place.
I want to feel like I belong in it. I want it to receive my beautiful son with welcoming arms wherever he goes. I want it to nurture, not destroy our delicate hearts. I want it to feed our spirits and be a breeze which ruffles our feathers only enough so that we remember we have wings and can fly.'
This poem was written by local community member, Stephanie Tadic,
in response to Harmony Tree.
Results from an onsite and online surveys indicated that 74% of participants felt peaceful, 58% happy, 47% relaxed and 42% joyful, 0% sad, upon encountering the installation. Participants were given the option to select multiple responses.
The survey also asked people to rate their sense of wellbeing on a scale of 1–5, with 1 being not at all and 5 being extremely.
56% indicated that listening to the sounds ‘extremely’ increased their wellbeing, 33% indicated ‘a bit’, and 11% indicated ‘a little’ and 0% 'not at all'.
The weighted average was 4.3 out of 5 believed their wellbeing was increased.
Reflections from the Artist
Seeing the effect this work has had on the surrounding community has completely blown me away. It created a gathering place of peace and respect in amongst the hustle and bustle of a culturally diverse neighbourhood. It’s been such a pleasure to give this gift to the community and see people embrace it with gratitude and delight. When I first came up with the idea, I thought ‘bells on a tree how delightful,’ and from that the idea grew into wanting to create a harmonious place where the community could gather in peace. Little did I know how much it was needed within this little community of Noble Park and the true extent of it’s value. Over the last 8 months, Harmony Tree has found it’s own voice through the stories of those who have encountered it and the visible shift it has created in the atmosphere around it. It sung a song of comfort and peaceful tranquility, summoning reflection and reminiscence. It extended an invitation to relax and unwind, a chance to be present in the moment. It kindled conversation and welcomed solitude. But most importantly, it awakened hope. Hope for better days, better futures and a better world. It’s song was that little whisper in your ear saying, just be still, it’s going to be ok.