Ancient Tree Series – Holly Grove, Burley
Ancient Holly Groves are found throughout the New Forest, and the ones in Burley are some of my favorites. When a holly tree dies, new trees grow around the old stump in a ring. Eventually, the rings join and become a natural circle of trees, although they often cross each other so appear more random.
Young branches of holly were used as animal feed in winter in the New Forest when hay was unavailable. The higher up a tree you go, the less spikey the leaves are. This is because they grow spikes that deter animals from eating them.
Deer rub velvet from their antlers onto holly trees, marking their territory. This is evident as scaring when silvery bark has been rubbed away.
The process of creating the work is as follows: a painting in glass enamels onto glass is constructed and fired in a kiln in successive layers in response to an experience of a visit to a specific place, in this case, an encounter with an ancient grove of holly trees in the New Forest. The history of the site is considered and an expressive painting results. The glass is then cut into tiles. I elected a simple grid composed of tiles that are twice as wide as they are high, to suggest balance. Tiles are collaged and applied to a form, which is a curve made from timber and cork. Cork is more sustainable than timber as the oak bark is harvested without cutting down the tree. In between the glass tiles, sand sourced locally is incorporated into the grout.
The frames are then painted with a natural paint, to compliment the glass.
500 x 500 x 60 mm
Glass, glass enamel, cork, timber.