This portfolio was awarded an RHS Silver-Gilt medal and was exhibited at the 2019 RHS Botanical Art & Photography Show at Lindley Hall in Westminster from 23rd to 25th July 2019.
It demonstrates the diversity of shape and forms of the Common Beech tree, Fagus sylvatica in the City of London Corporation’s Epping Forest. The images were taken during my one-year artist residency called ‘You Can’t See the Trees for the Woods’. Whilst there I encountered many awe-inspiring lapsed Beech pollards (characteristic of Epping Forest), ancient multi-stemmed coppice stools with eroded roots, and a combination of both called coppards. These coppards are lapsed coppice stools which have also been pollarded at a later date and are believed to be hundreds of years old. Interestingly these small groups of trees are genetically identical, and all come into leaf at exactly the same time, does this make them one big tree?
During my trips to Epping Forest I would often spend an hour photographing just one tree. I would walk around to see how the light interplayed with its shape, quirky form and varied textures. I would listen to the surrounding sounds, watch the wildlife and smell the earthy forest aroma. The longer I was there the more I understood the different characteristics of each tree so I could make the individual stand out from the crowded forest.
Some of these images have previously been displayed for my "You Can't See the Trees for the Woods" exhibitions in Epping Forest and RHS Hyde Hall.