Smoke Rises Among Exotic Trees. Short film, 2020. TULCA festival of Visual Arts- The Law is a White Dog
In 2019, Sioned Jones was charged with criminal damage to state-owned sitka spruce forestry plantation in West Cork. For almost twenty years, she had been quietly and obsessively removing the non-native spruce trees and replacing them with native-Irish trees.
Smoke Rises Among Exotic Trees is a documentary-style video that follows Sioned as she continues her obsessive re-forming of the landscape in the face of criminal charges. It may be too simple to say that her actions are motivated by environmental concerns; perhaps she is simply determined to alter the environment around her. Her story asks questions about the definitions of criminality and justice as they are applied to the cultivated Irish landscape and reveals opposing systems of attributing value to nature.