Thursday, November 04, 2010

Rowan Leaf Lightning

Rowan Leaf Lightning, originally uploaded by escher....

If you like your DVD extras then scroll down for the Making Of Film. It is short and sharp whereas the unpublished director's cut is hours long and has a pretty brutal ending.

I'm quite surprised I managed to make anything today. I normally have to get going early or I quickly run out of steam, or will power to start in the first place. I didn't even get to where I wanted to be until after midday but fortunately I felt inspired and had willpower to spare.

Last night my house became possessed by an evil demon. The sort of demon that preys on innocent, virginal (ahem) land artists, who are minding their own business trying to get their beauty sleep (believe me, it is important that I get some).

In the middle of the night there were unholy noises coming from upstairs (steady) and the curtains were moving in and out, as though something menacing and scary was drawing breath and sucking the air out of the room.

I couldn't possibly sleep through these spooky goings-on so I had to decamp to the sofa to catch some more zees. I promise you it had nothing to do with Haloween and definitely nothing to do with my girlfriend having a cold and being all bunged up.

The noise miraculously went away when my poorly girlfriend went to work so I slept in.

Once I was up I went out to search for Copper Beech leaves but as I approached my favourite trees I suddenly remembered the amazing Rowan I found yesterday.

For a couple of years I've been searching for a Rowan that has a full on colour explosion in autumn. Many of them in the hills go straight to brown and the others haven't had the full range of colours. The ones that I did find, fully on fire with autumn, were too high, in private gardens or simply impossible to get to.

Finally, yesterday, after lots of searching, I found an absolutely amazing one. I am not sure how I'd forgotten about it this morning. I'd promised myself that I would make something with its leaves today. Fortunately it wasn't very far from where I was so I trudged over to it and collected loads of leaves.

I dashed home to have some breakfast, collect my stuff together, make a packed lunch so I could go out and make something in the time I had left. I was in a rush but felt sure I had everything I required. Feeling sure is one thing. Actually remembering everything is quite another.

I only went home three times to get wellies, then camera, then my mp3 player so that's proof enough I have an outstanding memory.

The first job was to collect a couple of bucket fulls of mud and then find a suitable place to make the sculpture. I am sure my arms were two inches longer once I had. As is customary I couldn't just settle on a nice easy place to get to. I had to choose somewhere which required clambering across loads of greasy, mossed up rocks and ducking under twisted branches whilst slipping on roots. Still, I think the tree I found was pretty cool, so it was worth it.

Now, have you ever seen a woodlouse poo before? That's the verb not the noun. As I started to smear the mud onto the rock I noticed some woodlice scuttling across the surface. In one crack there was a perfectly sized woodlouse garage. One scuttled towards it and parked perfectly in a sideways stance. Another came along, obviously looking to park there too. It wasn't expecting to find another parkee and as it approached it felt with its feelers and felt very surprised. At its rear end a segment lifted up and out came a miniature louse poo! Never seen that before, I thought, how fascinating!

Anyway, there was no more pooing to be witnessed so I just carried on with the mud. It wasn't long before I was thirsty and hungry. But, although, I had four spare jumpers, half a tent, a gas canister, knee pads and a screwdriver in my pack, I seemed to have left behind my lovingly crafted sandwiches and my water bottle. And a morsel of woodlouse poo wasn't going to provide much sustenance.

As I said. Being sure and actual actuality are quite different things.

I'd remembered the leaves, fortunately, and they really were wonderfully coloured. I was trying to draw attention to both the colour of the Rowan and the power of the Oak tree next to which I placed them. Well something like that anyway.

Although I had walked through that place before today I hadn't really clocked how amazing the trees were. Twisted and primeval just like the demon who is possessing my house. Although nothing that a cup of hot lemon, laced with decongestant won't fix.

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