Trees & Roots IX

Trees & Roots

Trees and Roots is a new body of work which I started making in July 2016 which looks specifically at a combination of form, structure, and surface texture in relation to trees but, even more specifically although not exclusively, trees with externalized / above ground (even aerial) roots based on my own photographs (either digital or 35mm black and white film). Whilst some of the pieces have been shown in various exhibitions during the interim, a solo exhibition based on the series so far (called Of Trees & Roots and ……….) is due to be held in Gallery 2 of the Hastings Arts Forum Gallery at St Leonards-on-Sea in July 2019.

Just as the structure of the actual trees is important so is that of the various pieces of work being a combination of dimensions (from very small to fairly large), format / orientation (almost square; long and narrow; portrait or landscape), and colour (often monochromatic).

Specifically: the first two works are a photo polymer etching and a photo etching on copper (made during a Summer School at the Slade) whilst the third is a mixed media acrylic painting made in May 2017 during a solo show called Black, White & Splashes of Colour in which numbers I and II were shown for the first time.  During the last quarter of 2017 I experimented with embedding woodcuts within a screenprint. The first completed work in this manner is number IV in tones of orange (finished February 2018) within which two layers of woodcuts have been embedded between layers 7 and 8 out of 11. Number V (Silver Birches) comprises three separate monotype screenprints (effectively a triptych). Number VI (again a triptych) comprises three screenprints incorporating the use of graphite and varnish. Numbers VII and VIII are very small being, respectively, charcoal drawings (Blasted Trees) and “rubbings” of the woodcuts (in charcoal, Indian ink and varnish).  Number IX (a screenprint finished May 2018) has multi-layered stencil background overprinted by a single photograph and shows the Millennium Bridge (Tate Modern) and some Silver Birches. Numbers X and XI) are again screenprints with embedded woodcuts (in tones of blue and green respectively). Number XII is reserved for a series of ceramic sculptures of which, as at May 2019, one has been completed and one is in progress. Number XIII is a screenprint (white, black and lots of shades of grey) as is XIV (in sepia tones and featuring mark making).  Number XV is currently work in progress and again combines woodcut with screenprint but, in this case, the former is not embedded but is a major feature of the work being a large reduction woodcut to which screenprint elements are being added. Number XVI (again work in progress) is another screenprint (a companion in both subject and format for XIV but this time in tones of purple). The number XVII has been reserved for a set of three large photographic digital prints.

Once these are all finished and ready for the show in July the next stage will, I think, be to look at dead and / or diseased trees in a more abstracted and sculptural manner, still primarily in the medium of screenprinting but experimenting with the application of dark room techniques to exposing the postives.

In case you’re wondering, the numbering system is purely sequential / chronological and of no other consequence!

Note: Dimensions where shown are of the image in cms high x cms wide x cms deep.