tree drawings, 2019

The starting point for this series of work was immersion in the landscape in Carmarthenshire, where I live and where I walk. At the times when I pay attention, I am in love with the world: with the landscape of overgrown mining spoil; the leaves moving in the wind; the young trees growing along the disused mineral railway. With the way the wild beings, like the ash trees, inhabit an immense freedom which we do not inhabit, but may aspire to visit.

Ash Drawing (Glynhebog Colliery), 2019, 100 x100cm charcoal and chalk on paper.

The subject matter of the large charcoal drawings is the view from underneath, falling upwards into trees and sky. Looking up from standing on the earth gives a partial view, an underview.

I have made these drawings as a celebration and form of praise. Trees are good companions: slower, and more patient and thorough than we are. Especially, I want to pay attention to the ash trees, now patiently dying in millions. Ash drawing II is a portrait drawing of a tree which is growing from a colliery site in Pontyberem, and whose trunk has suffered damage and has split and rejoined. Standing underneath, you can see the sky when you look up through the opening.

Ash drawing II (Pontyberem Colliery), 2019, 113 x 131 cm, charcoal on paper

Oak drawing (Gwendraeth Colliery) is a portrait drawing of a tree growing from the bottom of a narrow deep valley on the site of the long-abandoned Gwendraeth Colliery, Pontyberem.

Oak Drawing (Gwendraeth Colliery), 2019, 120 x 100cm, charcoal on paper.

‘Y syrthfa’ means ‘the collapse’. This drawing, “the site thereafter became known as ‘y syrthfa'”, is a portrait of alder trees growing on the riverside on the edge of the site of the Gwendraeth Colliery disaster of May 1852. The drawing is part of an on-going investigation into vulnerability, courage and attention – and into the the slippage between inside and outside, self and world. The way in which we can grow into ourselves when we have the courage to pay open attention.

the site thereafter became known as ‘y syrthfa’, 2019, 120 x 195cm, charcoal on paper