Ancient Tree Series – The Shaftesbury Yew
Ancient Yews are often found in churchyards and this one has seen a church come and go and can be found on St John’s Hill. It has long boughs which extend into the churchyard, creating a natural shelter.
“….the site of an early medieval church and its associated churchyard situated on the summit of the prominent ridge known as Castle Hill in Shaftesbury in the extreme southwestern corner of the Anglo-Saxon settlement. The church survives as entirely buried structures, features, and deposits within the walled confines of what is believed to be its churchyard. It is thought to have had Pre-Conquest origins dating back to the time of the Saxon burh in Shaftesbury. It is documented from 1272 and there is a list of rectors from 1320 – 1446. Dedicated to John the Baptist the church was amalgamated with that of St James and went out of use in the 15th century although burials continued. The church was dismantled in the 18th century.”
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 a magnificent, ancient yew tree. 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.