Pinhole Solargraph from Hawthorne Tree
This project takes me closer to trees and trees closer to me. I'm trying to bridge the gap i feel between our beings. A reverential ecology of sorts.
Currently I have pinhole cameras acting as an eye. Capturing the sun rise and fall on the ancient borderlands of Wales. From the gnarly Hawthornes on windswept exposed summits to the threatened ancient Ash trees, i try to identify my connectedness with the complex, more than human natural plant landscape. The work is posing the questions. 'What have these trees seen? What do they see? And do they see me?'.
With some plants having up to 11 photoreceptors where we only have four, their ability to see becomes quite a complex subject. When seeing becomes tied into something as essential as light being an energy source, it is a fascinating area of research. When you spend time submersing yourself in plant ruling realms (not quite like my childhood hero David Bellamy, who shrank to the size of an ant in his 1980's TV series), but nonetheless plant perception becomes something magical to ponder.
I have always been in awe of the ancient tree. Growing up in Nottinghamshire I was lucky enough to play near Robin Hood's Major Oak and I got inside many a trunk of these ancient beauties. As an adult I visited many forested biospheres worldwide. Cloud forest in Costa Rica, depleted drought damaged rain forest in Australia, temperate forest and the complex Rainforest and Rio Negro flooded forest in the Amazon and Borneo. On reflection trees and the multitude of life they support might be a bit of an obsession. But not everyone feels this way, plants are a commodity for human consumption, I've seen first hand the palm oil plantations that go on for miles and miles in Malaysia, replacing native forests and there dependents who are often seen as pests getting in the way of human advancement. Yet the complexity of all beings and our commonality should alert us to the connectedness of all things on earth and beyond. Our reverance to trees through myth, magic, art and poetry should be a celebration of really seeing the divine in our interconnectedness.
Hawthorne tree on the ancient Corndon Hill looking west into the heartland of Wales