Saturday, 22 February 2020

essex hawthorn

Beginning to organise my work for Print Fair 2020 at Nottingham Contemporary in March. A gang of us from Haarlem Artspace will be there - come and say hi.

My Essex Hawthorn linocut is of a tree I sat under as a child, I remember colouring in my flower fairy book under its branches. This memory is so vivid because I developed a painful migraine that afternoon and spent the rest of the day in the back bedroom with curtains drawn...

When I left London in 2018 and knew I'd not be walking past the tree anymore I took photos and created the linocut in Derbyshire, bridging then and now.

At times I doubt the impact my work may have, but had this challenged recently when a friend who'd bought a print said she has it above her desk and looks upon it daily. She uses the work as a gentle reminder about keeping healthy boundaries and this practice has had a great effect in her life.

The hawthorn is adaptable and an amazing boundary keeper. When cut and tended it becomes an abundant hedgerow for wildlife and container of livestock and if left to its own devices grows into a beautiful gnarly tree. In either form it has leaves you can eat, May blossom and edible berries (I have a hawthorn berry chutney recipe if anyone wants to try).

Hawthorn is my favourite tree and before we know it she will be signalling her presence in the hedgerow with her May blossom - white firework flashes that are particularly enjoyable from a speeding train window.