Rachel Lane

Artist

My Current Series: Portraits of Trees



This series began life as my exploration into ways to portray the characters and personalities of some of the trees I know very well within Sherwood Forest.

Having worked within the forest for many years and made many pieces of work relating to it and its dynamic, interactive natural community, it felt like a natural progression to do a more in depth study of some of the residents.
Over the years I have given certain trees names, simply as a means to aid location initially, but it occurred to me that, especially the ancient ones, did indeed have characteristics that almost stretched to personalities. So with this in mind it seemed only natural to consider them in terms of portraits rather that just as studies of trees.
This lead me in turn, to further consider the nature of portraiture, and the fact that indeed the portraits I found most intriguing were those that reflected more than just mere representation of the subject, but that were an insightful exploration of the presence within.

So it was with this rather bizarre, yet profound premise, that these portraits were created.



They are all 'real trees' within Sherwood Forest, and all my preparatory work was done plein air, with each tree in turn, so that I not only got the unique forms within the tree, but a real sence of the feeling I got whilst spending time, being totally present, in their company. It is this individual, empathic connection with each tree that I focused on and allowed to develop visually through the work. This ensured that each portrait was truly unique and true to the character of each tree as I felt it.

It didn't initially occur to me during my explorations, but later when I realised that the medium that I had been drawn to for this project instilled a further level of kudos; I had drawn trees, on trees, with trees!