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‘Vivaldi’ Mural at St. Brendan’s Primary, Corby

Feb – March 20

Once upon a time…….

A new location, St. Brendan’s Primary in Corby, and a school with a musical reputation. Therefore when Headteacher Leanne Brydon invited me to design a painting with a collection of children’s book characters in four sections for their ‘Mini Hall’, the Red Priest came to mind immediately so I suggested illustrating a season for each wall. The working title for the project therefore became ‘Vivaldi’ from the very beginning. I considered calling it ‘Frankie Valli’, but somehow felt that didn’t work so well.

Leanne provided me with a list of 25 characters and I almost managed to include them all, Thomas the Tank Engine being the one that missed out. Rather than painting a simple procession of figures I created compositions of them within a landscape setting, which offered the opportunity to introduce and investigate images of various styles from differing eras of art history.

There’s always a story behind a picture, and of the person who produced it, and much to learn. For example on the Autumn wall I purposely selected the ‘Tree of Life‘ section of the Palais Stoclet frieze by Gustav Klimt. On the one hand I wanted to suggest a link to the world of decorative arts and surface design rather than another figurative representation of a natural form, but it wasn’t only that, there’s an important current affairs narrative to explore too. Klimt died in 1918 during the Spanish flu pandemic which swept across Europe and the world, which was one of the deadliest in human history. Bearing in mind the trauma of the current Coronavirus outbreak which has now brought this project to a halt, its selection as a comparison was well founded.

This project began with a presentation to a whole school assembly in which I introduced myself and a brief outline of the wall paintings at Altamira, Lascaux and the Sistine Chapel ceiling, as well as the designs I’d proposed for the walls of the Mini-Hall. During the course of the last 23 days I’ve also spent time meeting with several groups of classes and individual children.

However, despite working for the last week in an empty school and being so close to completion, the current government physical distancing advice has forced me to a halt, so unlike previous project overviews, this one is different as the painting is still unfinished. I’m very disappointed but don’t want to be irresponsible, and in any case I must be careful. Although I don’t want to admit it, my recent medical history places me very close to the vulnerable category, an experience which was the subject of a previous blog.

To coin a cricketing metaphor, I’ve decided to pull up the stumps. This blog therefore is only a latest summary of the scorecard as I’m now back in the pavilion. It’s not a declaration, simply a break in play. When conditions allow my innings will continue. It’s very frustrating and I’d like to be able to blame it on the light-meters, or the sort of rain you don’t get wet in, but it’s a tad more serious than that.

Hopefully, once the umpires are back out and considered conditions to have improved, the heavy roller will be ordered and play will resume. Till then, I’m having to take an early tea and dive into a Victoria sponge.

The story so far………

THE FOUR SEASONS:

SUMMER Book Characters & Paintings

Harry and his Bucketful of Dinosaurs  (Author: Ian Whybrow Illustrator: Adrian Reynolds)

Wheatfield with Crows 1890  (Vincent Van Gogh)

Winnie-the-Pooh & Piglet  (Author: AA Milne Illustrator: EH Shepard)

The Tiger Who Came to Tea  (Author & Illustrator: Judith Kerr)

Noon – Rest from Work (after Millet) 1890  (Vincent Van Gogh)

Pippi Longstocking  (Author: Astrid Lindgren Illustrator: Ingrid Vang Nyman)

The Cat in the Hat  (Author & Illustrator: Theodor Seuss Geisel)

 

AUTUMN Book Characters & Paintings

Elmer  (Author & Illustrator: David McKee)

Tree of Life 1905  (Gustav Klimt)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Author & Illustrator: Eric Carle)

Peter Pan  (Author: J M Barrie Illustrator: Bob Brackman)

Ejiri in the Suruga province 1830-32  (Katsushka Hokusai)

Mog the Forgetful Cat  (Author & Illustrator: Judith Kerr)

Cruella de Vil (Author: Dodie Smith Illustrator: Marc Davis)

Paddington Bear (Author: Michael Bond Illustrator: RW Alley)

Plop – The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark (Author: Jill Tomlinson Illustrator: Paul Howard)

Biff, Chip, Kipper & Friends (Author: Roderick Hunt Illustrator: Alex Brychta)

 

WINTER Book Characters & Paintings

The Gruffalo  (Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler)

Hunters In The Snow 1565  (Pieter Bruegel the Elder)

The Big Bad Wolf  (Aesop)

Three Little Pigs  (Fable)

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland  (Author: Lewis Carroll Illustrator: John Tenniel)

Burglar Bill  (Author & Illustrator: Janet & Allan Ahlberg)

Winter Landscape 1811  (Caspar David Friedrich)

#111 Drum Bridge and Sunset Hill, Meguro 1857  (Ando Hiroshige)

 

St. Brendan’s Primary School, Beanfield Avenue, Corby NN18 OAZ

Remembrance Mural at Rowlatts Mead Primary Academy

Sept – Oct 19

‘When I am laid, am laid in earth, may my wrongs create
No trouble, no trouble in thy breast;
Remember me, remember me, but ah! forget my fate.
Remember me, but ah! forget my fate’. (Dido’s LamentHenry Purcell)

Same place, but with a new name. Since my previous visit to Rowlatts Hill the school has now become Rowlatts Mead Primary Academy, but other than the change of logo nothing looks changed.

It was a swift return, having been only a short time since the completion of the Rainforest/Under The Sea themed corridor but in truth this project was actually an unfinished element of that previous visit. I had left in order to fulfil a promise of completing a painting at Meadowside Primary in Burton Latimer before the end of their summer term, but with an assurance that I’d return immediately afterwards so that this one would be finished before November.

The completion date of this project was critical as the subject I’d been asked to illustrate was the theme of Remembrance. It was a significant challenge and a subject I’d been faced with a few years ago, at Warmington School, but this was different and the design posed a succession of difficult decisions and dilemmas.

The location identified was the entrance and reception area of the school, the first impression to any visitor, therefore it was important that the appearance of this very serious subject was given the sobriety and gravitas it deserved. Any memorial to the fallen has an air of solemnity however I was determined it would appear neither clichéd or dour. The visual language of the composition needed to convey a dignified presence, incorporate a recognition of activity both past and present in the theatre of war but also that the sacrifice made has been in order for the world to be a better place.

I devote many hours to the design stage of any project. Being a fixed and permanent feature on a wall the painting of a mural is a tremendous responsibility. It’s a big investment and located in a public space, it’s so important to get it right.

The easy option would have been to paint a mournful memorial with a subdued palette, but the end result would have been predictable, unimaginative and dull. Fortunately I don’t work that way. My priority is always to create a stimulating image with underlying stories to investigate. I felt more was possible. In my mind’s eye I could see something brighter.

I preferred to approach the subject through the eyes of an Impressionist and present a contemplative landscape, as well as implementing the full spectrum of colours. A hostile critic once famously characterised Impressionism as, ‘the crude application of paint, the down to earth subjects, the appearance of spontaneity, the conscious incoherence, the bold colours, the contempt for form’. I feel this description identifies my painting technique perfectly.

The allocated space had four definite divisions. First, a self-contained vestibule; Second, a short wall which then turns into a corridor; Third, the corridor wall itself; Fourth, the wall between two office doors.

It was a significant problem to overcome. Not only to find a way of piecing together a design that flowed and linked naturally across four sections with built-in barriers, such as doors, a 90º corner and window frames, but also one that could be enjoyed as a painting in itself, and able to successfully communicate a serious underlying message.

Following several unsuccessful attempts the composition I eventually settled upon to present at a design meeting at the school was well received. Only one alteration was requested, that being the replacement of one of the historical figures for a contemporary one.

My predominant influence and inspiration was the late work of Claude Monet. In particular, that which led toward and included his last great masterpiece, the Grandes Décorations for the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris.

The painting begins with an image based upon one of Monet’s Saule Pleurer (Weeping Willow) series of paintings, and the theme of his garden in Giverny continues to include two interpretations of the Water Lily pond. There is no horizon, simply a reflection of sky on the surface of still water.

At the corner, where the wall turns into the corridor, a solemn statue of a soldier stands in front of a monumental poppy based upon a painting by Georgia O’Keeffe.

Another painting by Claude Monet, his Coquelicots (Poppy Field), forms the basis of the composition on the corridor wall and the admin office door, towering over which stands a landmark of local interest, the Arch of Remembrance in Victoria Park, Leicester. Two military portraits emerge from this landscape, the first a contemporary figure, Lance Corporal Michelle Norris MC, the second an historical one representing Asian involvement with the British Army, Khudadad Khan VC.

The final figure which completes the design is one that illustrates the caring side of conflict, that of nurse Edith Cavell.

(A more detailed commentary of all of the design elements can be found at the foot of this blog).

The elements in detail:

Claude MonetWeeping Willow 1918 (Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio)

Monet painted a series of 10 paintings depicting this majestic tree growing beside the lily pond in his Giverny garden. Painted toward the end of the First World War the tree has great significance, it is a symbol of sorrow, as a lamentation on the state of the world. French deaths in WW1 totalled over 1.4 million with 4 million wounded, a quarter of all French men born in the 1890’s had been wiped out.

These paintings were an expression of grief, Weeping Willows were seen a symbol of death and mourning, a common sight in French cemeteries and often personified as a woman or used to symbolise female mourning. The tree was the subject of ‘Élégie’, one of the prose poems by JJ Grandville in his book Les Fleurs Animées (Flowers Personified) published in 1847. “Come into my shade all you who suffer, for I am the Weeping Willow. I conceal in my foliage a woman with a gentle face. Her blond hair hangs over her brow and veils her tearful eye. She is the muse of all those who have loved…….She comforts those touched by death”.

Claude Monet – The Water Lilies: Clear Morning with Willows 1915 – 1926 (Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris)

The vertically structured Weeping Willow paintings were ultimately overtaken by the expansive horizontal format of his final monumental Water Lily series. In these he dispensed with the horizon completely to focus solely on the reflections of the sky, the surface of the water, the flowers and lily pads floating in a world seen upside down. This series known in English as the Water Lilies is a translation of the French word Nymphéas, which is related to Nymphes (Nymphs), female spirits who live in sacred places. The water lily is closely related to the lotus which the Egyptians identified as a symbol of birth and immortality, while in Buddhist and Hindu philosophy it represents the mind rising up from the mud and opening itself to wisdom and enlightenment.

A collection of these great paintings were eventually donated to the state and are now permanently housed in the Musée l’Orangerie in Paris. They fill two large oval rooms, a collection which Monet hoped would offer beauty to wounded souls, calm nerves and offer the viewer ‘an asylum of peaceful meditation’. He felt his late paintings were an attempt at healing – his artistic response to the traumatic events of the war. They were intended as an invitation to sit and observe the painted reflections in the water as one might the continual turn of waves on a seashore, or the flames of a living room fire.

Ambrose Neale – Serviceman from London and North Western Railway War Memorial 1921 (Euston Station, London – Memorial designed by Reginald Wynn Owen)

The central figure is derived from one of the four bronze figures representing an infantryman, artilleryman, sailor and airman, located on each corner of this memorial. He stands, head bowed, hands resting on an upturned rifle, which is reversed in mourning.

 

 

 

 

 

Georgia O’KeeffeRed Poppy VI 1928 (Private Collection)

“Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see takes time – like to have a friend takes time”.

“So I said to myself, I’ll paint what I see, what the flower is to me, but I’ll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it. I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers”.

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not”.

“I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty”. (Quotes by Georgia O’Keeffe)

Claude Monet – Coquelicots (Poppy Field) 1873 (Musée d’Orsay, Paris)

A field strewn with poppies continues Monet’s presence and influence of the composition. Although having no connection with the theme of war, I felt nonetheless it was an appropriate choice. It continues the Impressionist theme around the turn of the wall into the corridor and implies an atmosphere of loss and melancholy. A young family walks through a poppy filled landscape, the father figure is absent.

Lance Corporal Michelle Norris MC

Private Norris was just 19 when she was recognised for her bravery for her actions during the war in Iraq in 2006 and became the first woman ever to receive the Military Cross. I selected this portrait to replace that of Subedar Major Thakur Singh Bahadur, MC which featured in my original design.

 

 

 

 

 

Khudadad Khan VC

At the age of 26 Sepoy Khudadad Khan was the first native-born Indian to be awarded the Victoria Cross. His bravery was also the subject of a play, ‘Wipers’ by Ishy Din, performed at Leicester’s Curve Theatre in 2016. It was written to ‘honour the contribution of the million South Asian soldiers who fought alongside their British brothers during the First World War’.

 

 

 

 

Sir Edwin Lutyens – Arch of Remembrance 1925 (Victoria Park, Leicester)

A recognisable and identifiable local landmark, the arch is situated on the highest point of Victoria Park. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens an inscription above the north-east arch reads: REMEMBER IN GRATITUDE TWELVE THOUSAND MEN OF THIS CITY AND COUNTY WHO FOUGHT AND DIED FOR FREEDOM. REMEMBER ALL WHO SERVED AND STROVE AND THOSE WHO PATIENTLY ENDURED

 

 

 

 

 

Sir George FramptonEdith Cavell Memorial 1920 (St Martin’s Place, London)

The final element of the composition is a portrait of Edith Cavell, a British nurse working in German-occupied Belgium during the First World War and celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from both sides without discrimination. She also helped British, French and Belgian soldiers escape by arranging for guides to smuggle them out of Belgium into the neutral Netherlands. For this she was arrested, tried and found guilty of ‘assisting men to the enemy’ and executed by a German firing squad on 12th October 1915.

 

 

Rowlatts Mead Primary Academy, Balderstone Close, Leicester LE5 4ES

A Caress of Cretan Calm

26 March – 4 April 2018

“Seems I got to have a change of scene
‘Cause every night I have the strangest dreams…….
.”

I’ve recently written a catch-up Crete visit blog and used a track by Jittery Joe as its title, so why not use him again, he was really in his prime in 1969. In any case, it’s a good excuse to make a link to another of his youtube movies.

Every time we make a visit to this Shangri-La island we seem to arrive dead on our feet, but thanks to a little help from our friends P&M, we’re always feelin’ alright by the time we leave.

This time around our habitual busy work schedule had once again caused us both to be running on empty during the weeks before departing from Luton to fly eastward into a welcoming evening sky. P&M’s welcoming open arms were there to greet us at Heraklion airport and we were instantly immersed into another world. One that’s lived at a more relaxed pace, filled with happy smiling faces speaking a language and employing typography we can’t understand, but where our ignorance is bliss. And what’s more, despite the tragic state of the Greek economy, roads in better condition than the UK!!!

Arriving in the peaceful tranquility of moonlit Agia Pelagia near Spili, the only sounds to fill the air were the distant occasional clangs of wandering goatbells. The following morning, breakfast on the terrace in warm morning sunshine. Immediately we were enshrouded in relaxation mode. We just drank it all in. It was impossible to resist.

The next ten days drifted by in typically leisurely Cretan pace. We explored Rethymno and the grounds and fortifications of the Fortezza; had a guided tour of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete; drew and painted on a different scale for a change in my Olive Grove Studio; explored the narrow streets and harbour of Venetian flavoured Chania and the hillside village calm of Ancient Lappa; found aged and decaying murals in lonely hillside chapels; walked isolated mountain tracks with my trusty Cretan guide; enjoyed the beachside community haven of Matala, with the Mermaid Cafe, mentioned by Joni Mitchell in her song ‘Carey‘, a track on the album ‘Blue‘; witnessed sunsets and starry skies to die for; ate good Cretan food, drank excellent ‘Karydia Brother’ wine.

A relaxing, unwinding, de-stressing, calming and thoroughly restful visit……………..however………………there was one occasion potentially detrimental and harmful to my health.

What began as a normal Friday evening spent in a bar in Plakias quickly evolved into a particularly stressful nail biting one. As any lifelong follower of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club would confirm, supporting this team is a roller coaster ride. This year has been a good one, but it’s still had its share of ‘moments’. Having found a bar with a TV and a Skysports football channel available, I endured one of the most traumatic games of my life. The season has ended well, but watching my team hang on with 9 men to beat Middlesbrough can only be described as an absolutely nerve shredding experience. The following week it felt like history repeating itself as WWFC survived two penalties in added-on time to beat Cardiff. Only a Wolves supporter knows what having unyielding loyalty to the old gold and black really feels like.

However, even having said that, this was an isolated anxiety-associated episode. As far as stress is concerned, Crete is the perfect antidote!

“You feelin’ alright?
I’m not feelin’ too good myself…….
.”

Cretan Season in the Sun

19 – 26 October 2016

“We had joy, we had fun
We had seasons in the sun…….
.”

Having just returned from another visit to Crete I was about to write a new blog when I found that there wasn’t one from my previous visit. I suddenly felt very confused. After experiencing such a stimulating and rejuvenating environment surely I couldn’t have forgotten to reflect upon it? Had it mysteriously disappeared? Or had I really been too busy to actually do one.

A look at the calendar and then it all became clear. Yes, I was busy. The trip was made two years ago, during the Autumn half term break while working at Rowlatts Hill Primary painting the ‘Once Upon A Time’ mural. However very soon after we returned our world turned upside down, as Mum’s health took a serious turn for the worse and sadly she passed away. It could be said that this visit was the calm before the storm. The writing of a reflective Crete blog was obviously lost in the maelstrom of events which occurred during the weeks that followed and which saw that difficult year through to its conclusion.

Before embarking on a new blog therefore, I’ll make amends and write an old one first.

It’s the last week of October 2016 and all is still well. Our busy schedule has been replaced with a few days in the sun, in Peter & Monica’s exceptional company, staying with them in their idyllic world in Agia Pelagia near Spili, and our minds and soul nourished and enriched once again with warm Cretan hospitality; watching a sleeping dog soak up the sun while drinking a chilled glass of Fix beer at the Agia Fotia Taverna in Agia Fotini and listening to nothing but the sound of lapping water; exploring sights of significance in the history of Crete, the monastery at Arkadi and the WWII monument and bridge at Preveli; finding plants both beautiful and strange while wandering the paths of the Botanical Park & Gardens of Crete, a haven of tranquility created out of the ashes of a fire in 2003; looking at the jaw dropping sight of the upper entrance of the Samaria Gorge; indulging in the sights of the beautiful Amari valley and taking a hike up to the summit of Mount Samitos; luxuriating in the peace, shade and uninterrupted birdsong of the Olive Grove studio; savouring a glass or maybe three of the latest batch of my Kaydia brother Yiorgos’ excellent home brewed wine; the leisurely hustle and bustle of cafe life in Plakias and Rethymno thrown in for good measure.

We couldn’t foresee the events that were about to unfold, but that break gave us the energy to face it. We’d found an island of calm, and the peace and tranquility of Crete had given us the strength to confront anything an impending storm could throw at us.

Gladiator Mural (Part 4) at Rowlatts Hill Primary Academy

April 18

The final stage of the ‘Gladiator’ corridor at Rowlatts Hill, a grass carpet has now been laid to bring the project to a conclusion. It is the final piece of the jigsaw, the cherry on the Bakewell tart, the penalty save in added-on time. The before and after pics show a significant transformation. Well done Matt Hassall, and thank you. You’re an absolute star. It really looks terrific!

Gladiator (Part 4) – The Floor

Rowlatts Hill Primary Academy, Balderstone Close, Leicester LE5 4ES

A Step Back In Time

‘If perfection could be achieved it wouldn’t be worth having

A return to Thorpe Hall, 43 years later. Back in June 1974 I spent a day here painting a landscape for my ‘A’ level Art paper and made reference to it in a previous blog about my school art teacher ‘The Importance Of Being Nobby’.

I knew the place would have changed. I’d simply remembered sitting in a meadow looking at a boarded up building located somewhere within the hall grounds. It took a while to find the exact spot, but then it suddenly unveiled itself. The sky had become a classic ‘Tur-kwarzy Blooo’ and inside my head I heard the nasal tone of Nobby shouting ‘Hands out the pockets boy!’. Not much had really altered. The wild flower filled field had become a car park, the trees had been cut back and new housing could seen at the exit, a hedge had appeared alongside what was once a gravel track and the building I’d focussed upon is now an attractive renovated gate house – other than that, the view still looked very similar.

This was where I produced my last painting before embarking on an art school career and I’ve often been tempted to revisit the site of one of the oldest compositions I still possess. Other than my grandmother’s living room it has made only one other appearance in public, being included in my ‘Landmarks & Milestones’ exhibition a couple of years ago. In 1974 the teenage me was convinced the painting was a complete and utter disaster and I’ve never waivered from that opinion. Nevertheless, I’ve also wanted to see whether that point of view was well founded. Returning to the scene of the crime with reproduction in hand to make a retrospective assessment I’ve learned that perhaps I needn’t have given myself such a hard time. The painting was probably alright after all.

It could be said that today I was back where it all started – but this time I didn’t lose my temper!

Gladiator Mural (Parts 1&2) at Rowlatts Hill Primary Academy

20.2 – 5.5.17

Hard on the heels of the ‘Once Upon A Time’ mural, my brief for this follow-on project was to transform the appearance of a fairly narrow and very busy corridor and create a taste of Tuscany, a landscape filled with grapevines and warm sunshine. This space, located outside two Year 3 classrooms, leads to a Roman themed area of the school and Principal Jay Virk suggested the final scene from Ridley Scott‘s ‘Gladiator’ movie as a clue of what she envisaged in her mind’s eye. Remembering his home built at the end of an avenue of cypress trees Maximus, Russell Crowe, imagined himself walking through a wheat field in a gently undulating Tuscan hillside to return to his family. To him, this was an image of Heaven.

However, the ‘Gladiator’ mural would be painted in three parts, and as this would be the largest I decided to begin with the smallest section first, so Heaven would have to wait till ‘Part 1’ was completed.

Gladiator mural (Part 1) – The Portrait

The wall seen at the end of the corridor was located within a cloakroom area already having the appearance of a Roman villa, which posed a problem. The design had to work both as an integral element of an exterior landscape scene as well as a Roman interior. The difficulty was resolved by giving the impression the wall surface was made of marble with a plaque, inscribed with a portrait of a Caesar, mounted on it. The trompe l’oeil plaque and portrait was inspired by a Roman coin auctioned in Switzerland in 2015.

 

Gladiator mural (Part 2) – The Landscape

Left Wall:

Right Wall:

The corridor walls have an imagined landscape view and at its end, before entering the Roman area, a grapevine covered pergola helps disguise a door frame. This portion of the corridor is quite dim, so the pergola generates the illusion of being the cause of the shade, whether walking in one direction and out of the ‘sunshine’ or from the other on leaving a bright ‘interior’.

Looking back, the landscape on the wall above the stairs was based upon the house seen in the previously mentioned final scene of the ‘Gladiator’ film, the perspective of the avenue of cypress trees painted to work with the angles seen as one walks toward it.

The walls on each side of the steps are painted in a fragmented, abstracted manner as the landscape gradually simplifies and metamorphoses either into a portrait of the Queen or a stained glass window, the final elements of the ‘Casablanca‘ and ‘Give Peace a Chance‘ murals which are located in the adjoining corridor.

In time, the surface of the corridor floor will be covered with a grass carpet which will further assist with the illusion of walking through an avenue of vines, and the small area of floor between pergola and portrait will become the final section of the Gladiator mural. This will be Part 3 of the project, to be painted next, and which will involve the painting of a mosaic.

Rowlatts Hill Primary Academy, Balderstone Close, Leicester LE5 4ES

Landmarks & Milestones: A Painter’s Progress

5-29 October 2015 • The Castle, Wellingborough NN8 1XA

Our lives follow a meandering path, taking us in different and unexpected directions. This retrospective exhibition is an opportunity to reflect upon a painting career that has incorporated a variety of subjects and activities, with dramatic changes in scale.

From early formative works through to more recent painted and drawn images, it also includes examples of monumental mural paintings, a recurring feature of the artist’s output since 1977.

My painting is me
A kind of biography
Written in pictures

Landmarks & Milestones: A Painter’s Progress
5-29 October 2015
Exhibition Wall & Gallery
The Castle, Castle Way, Wellingborough NN8 1XA
01933 229022
www.thecastle.org.uk/colin-slater

Epping Forest

Corporation of London Christmas Card Commission  2001 & 02

Centuries of leaves
In a cathedral of trees
Carpeted with breeze

*

Alone in a crowd
Light dim. A face peers out
From a crumpled skin

*

Ticker tape welcome
Confetti fluttering like
Pennies from Heaven

*

Rockin’ and Rollin’
Arms raised, Hallelujah’in
Tall, time-worn trees talkin’

*

Time-worn veteran
A portrait of life etched deep
In wooden wrinkles

*

Family clusters
Small processions of figures
Regal, triumphant

*

A shower of sunlight
Tall canopy filtering
Sun streaked whisp’ring winds

*

Faces emerging
A woodland Nativity
In pollarded trees

*

Leaf fall glittering
Autumn sunlight flickering
Black crows bickering

*

Cascading deadfall
A jackpot of leaf pennies
A blanket of gold

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