Tree of Fortune


Unbearable Lightness (tree of fortune) is a collaboration between Keith Armstrong and Linda Carroli recontextualising the Christmas tree. On the South Bank Cultural Forecourt, a fig tree is decorated with small glowing baubles which on closer inspection are digital 'text modules' each with their own message.
Excerpt from RealTime
Artist Statement
Tree of Fortune was a major public artwork comprising of 130 LED scrolling text boxes distributed throughout a large tree. Each module displayed an individual scrolling message presented in red LED text, created in collaboration with Brisbane writer Linda Carolli. The work was commissioned for and presented in a prominent riverbank location at Christchurch's 2004 Biennial. It was accompanied by a high quality catalogue publication. The project sought to foster private reflection amongst its viewers around the context of contemporary ecological crises, whilst also calling upon the power of their imagining as a method for retaining positive and critical mindsets in the face of adversity.
This was achieved through ostensibly presenting texts in the form of 'fortune cookie' style statements, but then configuring them to require a personal response. This sense of unravelling questions and answers was further cemented through the qualities of each scrolling text, which only revealed a small part of each phrase at any one time.
Source of Artist Statement


Armstrong, Keith
Carroli, Linda




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Electronic text installation




Armstrong, Keith and Carroli, Linda, “Tree of Fortune ,” ADELTA, accessed March 3, 2024,