Saturday, October 10, 2009

Autumn Beech Leaf Tear

Autumn Beech Leaf Tear, originally uploaded by ...escher....

Shall we start with what I learnt today? Well it is probably wise to check that your brought your own wellies and not your partner's as the latter are snug to say the least! Although once my toes had gone numb they weren't too bad.

I went back to the place where I made the Wych Elm Circle at Middlewood in Roeburndale to have an explore and to see what other interesting locations I could find. When I arrived I found that someone had made a rock balance on a boulder but the leaf circle and
JRTPickles hanging oak leaves had gone. I wonder whether the rock balancer had seen our sculptures or whether they just liked the spot as we did and felt inspired to create something? I took some photos of it as I really liked what they had made. It was only later that I saw the mushroom placed next to the stack, it had definitely been placed there and it looked a little 'magic', perhaps it was an offering to the god of swirly things?

I crossed over the river in my second skin wellingtons (ouch) and the scenery around the bend in the river was quite striking, sandstone cliffs and jagged boulders and twisted roots and moss. There is so much scope there that it is like heaven for the land artist.

I climbed up out of the deep cut gorge and found more and more interesting nooks, this place could provide me with inspiration for many years and I had only explored this one spot and a few yards either side of where I first looked.

Immediately the coloured leaves on the ground caught my eye. The fallen beech leaves had become variegated keeping their colour closest to the veins, each one in a different state of decay.

I travelled away for work for a few days again this past week. I was surprised how distracted by leaves I was when away from home as I didn't have the opportunity to make something. And yet every tree I walked past caught my attention as did every interesting leaf on the ground. My hotel room window overlooked the park and I studied the coloured trees and shrubs in front of me. It seems I am completely entranced by just the sight of a leaf these days, I don't even have to be planning on making something. I've started to be able to remember what varieties of trees are where, when their colours change and where to find thorns to the point where I have a map in my head of several different places. Making Land Art does have a profound effect on me.

So those beech leaves had caught my eye and as is usual it is something that I see that inspires me to make something. I had no plan or preconceived ideas but those leaves were so pretty I just had to use them. My first thought was a circle frame to stitch the leaves to but in Middlewood there is no dogwood that I would usually use for a circle. So I found a short section of hazel and some thorns and attempted to make a circle. The thorns were too brittle and the hazel too hard to get the thorns to penetrate so I wove the frame instead which meant I ended up with the semi teardrop shape which lent itself well to the shape of the leaves. And as is also usual: the shapes of the leaves, the colours I could find and how the hazel lent itself to being a frame all had an input to the creative process as my ideas and the properties of the materials themselves conspire to create the finished sculpture. I really enjoy this relationship with nature. You can never make 'exactly' what you want, nature plays a hand. I find that fascinating and wouldn't want it any other way.

After the early morning mist had burnt through the sun only stayed for a little while. I hung the curtain in a tree high up above the river so that it looked out upon the canopy of the trees from where the leaves came.

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