Through a forest

The Big Issue

Collage commissions

for Edition No 587
p. 30
Friday 17th – Thursday 30th May, 2018

for Edition No 581
pp. 24 – 25
Friday 22nd February – Thursday 7th March, 2019

Humans and trees share an ability to communicate. Trees release hormones and pheromones. So do we. We speak words, they pass sugars to each other using fungal filaments. You can read relationship in the way they grow and sway together, the way they weave around each other, the way their roots reach out to each other, the way their crowns meet overhead.
Sophie Cunningham, ‘Coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia)’, City of Trees: Essays on Life, Death and the Need for a Forest (Melbourne: Text Publishing) p. 5.

We always enjoy the challenge of creating collages to illustrate a particular tale for The Big Issue. And this feeling rolls over into seeing the collage printed upon the page. Here is a look at two commissions from this year, featuring both the selected collage and its companions also submitted for consideration.


One to accompany Raphaelle Race’s ‘Trees of Life’ about Sophie Cunningham’s City of Trees: Essays on Life, Death and the Need for a Forest.


And the other to accompany Suxi Fox’s ‘A Small Slice of Peace’ (Edition No 581, 22 February – 7 March, 2019), using a treasured family photo courtesy of Shirley Macey.


You can read ‘Trees of Life’ by Raphaelle Race in the current edition of The Big Issue with Greta Thurnberg on the cover.

Trace the underground path and discover that “a tree is never just a tree. It speaks of the history of the place where it has grown or been planted: the hills that were dynamited, the creeks that were concreted, the water that has been drained to give it a place to root” (Sophie Cunningham, City of Trees, p. 7). We heartily recommend you grab a copy of both Sophie’s book and the magazine.


Rewind. Earlier, for The Big Issue, with more to come, we hope,
Edition No 552, The year that was, 2017 – 18
Edition No 542, In hand, in mind, 2017
Edition No 538, In the garden with you, 2017
Edition No 422, At sea, on shore, 2012 – 13
Edition No 397, And the crow fared well, 2012
Edition No 388, Not so very different upon reflection, and Momentarily visible, 2011
Edition No 376, In search of the unexpected, 2011


Image credit: Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison, Through a forest (detail), digital collage commission for and published in edition #587 of The Big Issue, 2019, p. 30