Trees covered in dyed cottons. Cherry picker used to get up to tree.
I used to be a 'city girl'. Times change and the past few years of regular travel across Wales has drawn me inextricably to the country. Over time, quietly, almost 'unnoticed' I found myself woven to the land, developing a personal and deeper understanding of the countryside. On journeys and walks I began thinking about the reference points that would once have served as markers for travellers and those defining their home and its boundaries. I became drawn to churches, ruins; ancient clumps of trees, stonewalls, and bridges in fields seldom visited. I began to learn about the land and the way it has been shaped by man and industry.
Whilst not Welsh I found that Wales has entered my psyche and my spirit and I wanted make a work which referenced and celebrated the land that supports me. There are 13 old counties of Wales. The project is to explore and to locate an ancient tree or landmark in each of the counties that can be 'wrapped' and documented. The work develops previous ideas in which the commonplace, everyday and overlooked is re-presented to the viewer as an icon in itself.
The success of the first 'Bound' tree in Carmarthenshire (as part of 'Explorations' at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, 2003) was its ability to reach and connect to the public. The stark, white elegance of this bound dead oak tree, a much loved and revisited landmark in the gardens drew the gaze and imagination of subsequent visitors. References were made to antlers, lightening, to fungi, swaddling and mummification. There was amusement and enjoyment. People were compelled to touch its trunk; none passed it without comment.
The works are an act of veneration and meditation on the trees (and ours) past, present and future. It is important to be able to see the trees from the road or from a well-worn path so that the audience is those that pass by.