Culture Online


Mulberry - Tree of Plenty

Exploring the materiality of the iconic mulberry tree

Mulberry - Tree of Plenty is a collaborative project between artists Sara Heywood & Jane Watt, and UCL science researcher Dr David Chau. The project explores the materiality of the iconic mulberry tree (Morus nigra and Morus alba).

The team have worked with community participants and St Margaret’s House to learn and share knowledge about the mulberry trees of Bethnal Green, east London. Together they have explored local heritage walks, mulberry tasting, gel formation, fabrication and profiling, skeletonization and ghosting of leaves, 3D digital scanning, ink making, drawing, nurturing and growing saplings.

To find out more about the project visit: 



The juicy berries of the mulberry tree at St Margaret’s House were harvested in late July 2020 and used in several ways in the project: as produce made by St Margaret’s House café for a mulberry tasting event with the local community; to make botanical ink for drawings for participatory workshops; and as part of the study of the colour spectrum of the tree.


You can find many different shaped leaves on the same tree including heart-shaped to fig-shaped from rough and scratchy to smooth and shiny. The team collected leaves from each of the five trees in Bethnal Green over the period of the project and examined how the leaves can be ‘skeletonized’ and used as a vehicle for various medical applications.


Through 3D digital scanning the team have explored the structure of the trunk of St Margaret’s House’s mulberry tree. The bark is also being explored as a possible biomaterial replacement for bone damage. A video of this digital scan along with selected moving and still images from the project research can be viewed as part the live projection event at Create Space.

Join the festival

Friday 16 - 18 April, 12pm to 10pm daily

As part of the culmination of Trellis 2, Mulberry - Tree of Plenty will be presenting a live, site- specific moving image installation on the exterior windows of the Create Place, St Margaret’s House for 3 days. Visit at any time during the weekend. FREE - no booking is required.

Create Place, St Margaret’s House
26 Old Ford Road
Bethnal Green
London E2 9PL

Thursday 15 April, 7.30pm to 8.30pm

The Mulberry - Tree of Plenty team will present a live talk and Q&A on their project and share some of the discoveries they have made along the way.



Copyright 2021: Sara Heywood & Jane Watt, and Dr David Chau
The project is supported by St Margaret’s House and University of Suffolk

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