Into the outwoods residency… day 2

26th Feb. The hottest February day on record at over 20 degrees. I enjoyed the warmth despite grave concerns about climate change. I found an old hollow tree stump and lots of dead wood. The dead wood became like new shoots growing from the bones of the old. I placed them next to a moss covered stump…..the remains of a tree that was barely recognisable. Adding more they become like a row of standing stones, a row of fragments.

As I worked the tree remains became became a circle, an echo of the tree that was, the 2 circles becoming like the infinity sign, the continuous cycle of decay and renewal. Half still rooted in the earth, the other half became like a sacred space to enter and feel at peace.

I didn’t notice the single holly leaf in the circle until I photographed the circle. The piece itself, with the meditative quality of making in the woods is separate to that different way of looking to take a photograph. Photography can add to the piece and is essential but it is a separate activity.

A holly tree had been cut down nearby, and I could use the leaves to create another circle. Cutting leaves off and letting them fall into the circle became a meditative process. The materials I found close by determined the direction of the work. The green added a new dimension and I like the ambiguity that is starting to develop.

Beautiful piece of wood…..found a charred branch from the ashes of a small fire, I’ve seen other charred remains around the woods and they may be a good material to work with.

I saw a moss covered log looking almost like a discarded water trough, I cleared away the fallen leaves…….noticed pine cones all around and used them to echo the forms of eroding tree trunks, there is beauty in the cycle of decay and renewal. Like the holly added green I added green to this one with pine needles, echoing the return of spring.

I placed willow rings to see how that would work. Just at the moment it seems better to use the materials from the woods, although I will be making and adding willow work for the sculpture trail.

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