"To devote yourself to the creation and enjoyment of beauty then, can be a serious business, not always necessarily an escape from reality, but sometimes a necessary means of holding on to the real when everything else is flaking away into rhetoric and plot.”
"The Tree Ladies of Hunting Island"
The "Tree Lady" series looks into ancient influences and symbolism and the belief in the land as holy and sacred. Among many early cultures, trees were revered as sacred objects inhabited by spirits, mysterious seers of the past and future. The birth of Adonis from a tree, retold as a Greek myth, was originally celebrated as a fertility rite. Through their constant cycle of birth, growth, shedding, decay and rebirth, trees are a portrait of the unraveling mystery of life and a reminder of its continuity. Every tree stump, every fallen leaf and clump of moss give us a deeply reassuring message "that although all things that have life must die, life itself does not die."
The "Tree Ladies of Hunting Island” series began many years ago, inspired by my first visit to Hunting Island in 1992. The changing landscape and the extraordinary trees, whose presence defines the beach of this old maritime forest, enchanted me. Every year, my sisters and I came back for our annual Sister's Weekend and each time the trees and the island had transformed. The sculptural shapes invoke female forms. Many were still standing despite the ravages of wind and water, roots exposed, bleached by the sun and salt. Some still held on to green leaves or pine needles. Trees provide a calming grace in their quiet existence, a gentle wisdom and deeply profound reminder of our own life flow. "I love pieces with narratives behind them. Poetry and music have profoundly influenced my life as an artist. The Sufi poet Rumi, the ballads of Tennyson, the music of Loreena McKennit is favorites. But the natural world is my greatest teacher."