We acknowledge and pay our respects to the traditional custodians of the land on which we live, work and create on, the Kombumerri people and Yugambeh language region and to all First Nations elders past, present and future. Sovereignty was never ceded.

The Forest Studio at 4217,
10 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise is open via appointment. 

Conversations with the Forest — A living, breathing and growing artwork

“A tree can only be as strong as the forest that surrounds it” (Peter Wohlleben)

                Conversations with the Forest - Surfers Paradise invites us to help grow a micro-forest in Surfers Paradise on Kombumerri land. Using plant species native to the region, the forest will become a ‘paradise’ people can enjoy in Surfers. A soundscape created for the forest will filter through speakers –  tones and sounds similar to the electric pulse language of the trees. The work asks us to think about how we regard and communicate with forests and trees, and to consider a future where plants are our equals.

‘Survival increases when saplings are embedded within the human social network. A tree planted by it’s human neighbors will live longer than one placed by an anonymous contractor. A street tree that is granted personhood and membership, one that is noticed, loved and given identity and history, lives longer than a municipal object arriving with no context and living with no collaborators’ (David George Haskell) 

We will collaborate with the ferns, the fungi and the trees we will build a network to support the forest. Forest Agents are invited to work with the artistic team to help grow the forest. You can be a Forest Agent on the ground or in the digital realm. 

‘Not being open to consider the very nature of our reasoning and assumptions regarding the relationship between brains and memories leaves us no space to seek other possibilities’ (Monica Gagliano) 


Merinda Davies - Artist

Justine Dillon - Indigenous Ranger & Kombumerri Traditional Owner

Monica Gagliano - Researcher - plant bioacoustics and cognition

‘It is through the unlearning that we can take those first steps away from objectifying plants and realise that recognising their subjectivity and inherent worth and dignity does not diminish our own but rather enriches it.’ (Monica Gagliano)

Letters to the forest

Letters to the forest

Forest Partners & Patrons

Conversations with the Forest is proudly supported by GENERATE GC - a City of Gold Coast initiative delivered in partnership with SITUATE Art in Festivals (Tas Dance) and City of Gold Coast Regional Art Development Fund, Cavill Lane Surfers Paradise and Creative Partnerships Australia.

Conversations with the Forest has been made possible because of generous donations from; Anne Carlin, Dean Gould, Robin Gillies, Elle Evangelista, Bronwyn Davies, Claire Carlin, Gold Coast Yoga Centre, Leilani Croucher, Alba Nicolson, Helen Stubbs, Rozina Suliman, Tyler Hill, Leah Sheltonn, Lenine Bourke, Tristan Meecham, Gavin Webber, Keith Armstrong, Sam Creyton, Brian Murray, Rebecca Ross, Anna Yen, Lauren Watson, Natalie Lidgerwood, Ruby Donohoe, Gareth Hart, Ellamay Fitzgerald, Heiko Windisch, Kimberly Stokes, Courtney Scheu & Itamar Freed, Abby Kelso, Laurie Young, Emma Porteus, Katie Harris-MacLeod, Kate Baggerson, Daniele Constance, Amelia Reid, Lowana Davies, Aaron Chapman, Trang Ho and the generous anonymous donations. 

If you would like to partner or contribute to the project please get in touch here