Alison Heatherington – A praise to the Trees

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This theme interests me as I have a lifelong, deep love of trees. I find trees much easier to relate to than people, sometimes, and I always feel a little bit more alive when I walk amongst them.

When I’m with trees I get a sense of their abiding, steady life force, which witnesses the world around them and adapts with each changing season, year, and circumstance. I am full of admiration for their beauty, their strength, their flexibility and their generosity. I think there is much we can learn from trees.

These pieces are all wintery – I work with themes of death, grief and the relentless cycles of nature. I would also love to undertake a study of trees at different seasons, using paints to bring out the magnificent colours that nature provides. But, for now, I love the starkness and sculptural quality of bare trees – this speaks to a sense of darkness which I feel about the world in these times.

At present I have just started work on a study of the Celtic sacred trees, as I am exploring my sense of the uniqueness and sacredness of some of our native trees. I feel such a sense of connection with oaks, beech, ash, holly, rowan, and so many others – they are like old, old friends. Trees feel sacred to me, as does all of nature; and I hope to use my art to reflect this feeling of sanctity, worship and awe.

A little about me: my name is Alison Heatherington and I’m currently based in South Devon. I am quite new to art, having only recently discovered my affinity for pencil drawing (I also love working with paint). I know I have much to learn, but I am finding so much inspiration out there in the natural world that I’m pretty busy these days.

It is so beautiful where I live now, and a woodland walk earlier this year inspired this poem, as I pondered on my own experience of the trees around me, and what the trees’ experience of me might be….

A praise poem to the trees

Do you know how beautiful you are?
Can you enjoy that in each other?
I wonder what you can feel.

Do the ants and the beetles tickle your arms and tummy as they run?
What does it feel like when the worms slither between your toes?

Are you cold in your winter bareness,
or does your coat of green mossy velvet keep you warm?

When you give shelter in springtime,
and watch new life appear in your nests,
does it delight you?

Do you grieve for your leaves in autumn,
or do you rejoice in this ending, this decay,
knowing that death is necessary, for new life to come?

Do you see us, as we walk among you,
as we enjoy your shelter and your beauty?
Do you hear us when we cry to you in our loneliness?

Do we hurt you? Yes, I think we do.
But do you love us anyway?
And do you realise that many, many of us love you too?

Find Alison here: alisonheatherington.com

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