Ancient Tree Series – Stourhead Oak
Gnarled oaks line an approach to Stourhead House, which is built next to an ancient spring that fills Stourhead Lake. Ancient trees often exist near spring heads, because they are recognized as essential to life, and revered. Only the trunks remain of these ancestor trees and are encrusted with lichen. Lichen thrives where the air is unpolluted and is a symbiont, it combines an algae with a fungi and exists within a mutually beneficial relationship in harmony with the natural world.
A painting is created in glass enamel 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 ancient oaks encrusted with lichen at Stourhead. 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, sourced locally is incorporated.
The frames are then painted with a natural paint, to compliment the glass.
500 x 500 x 60 mm
Glass, glass enamel, cork, timber.