Christalena Hughmanick:
The Women Who Plant Trees




2023.04.15. 17.00-20.00


Linking art, forestry, and community building together, The Women Who Plant Trees is the outcome of Christalena Hughmanick’s 3-month research project at the Icelandic Forestry Association. It gives visibility to the women who have been (and still are) participating in the reforestation efforts led in Iceland since the 1930s, and documents how they engage daily with their forests. The archival digital publication features conversations the artist had with women inside the forests of Eyjafjörður, Iceland’s largest tree nursery in Akureyri and those working at Skógræktarfélag Íslands.

The exhibition provides an immersive experience for viewers that reflects Hughmanick’s time spent in Icelandic forests. Works include field recordings of nature sounds, plant dyed textiles and printed photographs that were taken on a film camera the artist has been using for 23 years. All material was collected from the sites where the interviews took place, including foraged plants for the textile coloring process of natural dye.

The title of this exhibition references a text by French writer Jean Giono titled The Man Who Planted Trees. It is a 1953 short story about one shepherd’s long and successful single-handed effort to re-forest a desolate valley in France. This archival project highlights reforestation efforts led by women and activates forests as space for community building through creative acts that reconnect people to nature.

Christalena Hughmanick b. 1982 Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is an artist and educator. Her post-disciplinary practice engages with human relationships between craft and labor, and the scaled production systems that have generated these histories. She takes a theoretical approach related to the field of cultural anthropological studies, which is enacted through fieldwork that attempts to capture knowledge production systems that may disappear. Recent work has been reviewed by Lori Waxman for the Quarantine Times and Hall W. Rockefeller for Less Than Half. Her paper “Freedom Quilt: Collective Patchwork in Post-Communist Hungary” has been presented at The Textile Society of America’s 17th Annual Symposium and will be published in the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of World Textiles in 2023. She has exhibited internationally and been an artist in residence at the American Academy in Rome, SÍM Reykjavík, the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest, Wedge Projects in Chicago. Her work has been supported by Fulbright Foundation, the US State Department, the Lenore Tawney Foundation Scholarship among others. She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. More at


Curator: Veronika Molnár
Graphic design: Flóra Pálhegyi
Partners: Fulbright Hungary, MUZIX Group Kft.

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