Seeking inspiration and following up on visual research for a new body of work is often for me quite an organic process. I have places that are special to me that never fail to inspire, and the photo above of one of these special places transports me back there in my mind and helps me feel its magic all over again.
Much of my inspiration seems to happen unexpectedly, for example when I’m out walking or even sometimes in my lunch break, when I escape my day job for an hour to seek renewal in a small slice of the natural world in a nearby park.
This magnificent oak tree (above) that I often find myself standing or sitting in the presence of, helps me keep in mind the work for E.A.S.T.’s next exhibition that I’ve tentatively started with some kind of connection to this. There’s a song by Irish folk singer Luka Bloom that I’ve always loved that also inspires me: The Shape of Love to Come – in which he sings of Brigid in her “cell of oak”. Unsure of whether he’s referring to St. Brigid or an ancient pagan deity, this is something I want to follow up on, as, like Luka Bloom expresses, I also feel a connection.
I’m reminded of a cell of oak when I see the hollowed oaks that have been decaying in one of those special places I visit. As we move into the light at this time of year and anticipate shoots and buds forming and new growth, I also think of the cycle of life from which emerges hope and life springing from this often beautiful decay.
Even in familiar places I find there’s something new to see that I hadn’t noticed before. Like this mature birch that for years has been growing from the inside of a decaying oak. Although I’m tempted to wax lyrical about it I don’t feel words could capture my awe, so will just leave it there with these couple of images that somehow still fall short of doing it justice …