Saturday 16 May 2020

Sentinel Trees

Welcome to Sentinel Trees, an exhibition of miniature art works from 13 artists and 9 authors. 
We are excited and pleased to be part of the Urban Tree Festival 2020.

The title for our exhibition was discovered by Dean, Alban and Bryan during walks together where we noticed and admired the many varied trees found in parks, woods, streets and gardens. We came to see these trees as Sentinels, guarding and sheltering, standing silently for centuries as our busy lives rush along.

Recently here at Collect Connect we have exhibited in the 'Unsettled Gallery': the name we give to any impromptu,  non commercial space that we place art in. Due to the current restrictions and in keeping with the Urban Tree Festival we have moved Sentinel Trees to an online only exhibition. 

Each day of the Festival we are going to exhibit images of art works in a bonsai tree alongside writing inspired by the art pieces. The bonsai trees stand in for the street and park trees we had originally planned to use as venues for the exhibition. 
Thank you to our writers and artists and to the folk at the Urban Tree Festival for inviting us to take part.

Artist: Ali Reader Writer: El Rhodes

Ali's art work and an Ash tree bonsai

Ghost Trees Standing

The road north went past bungalows and spread-out homes. Pebble dash, cladding, painted concrete facings, and low walls. There weren’t so many trees at this end except for the thin stand of silver birch, white and skeletal, all stretched sinew and bleached out bone. They loomed tall and unexpected throughout my childhood. Watching over us. Whispering amongst themselves. Guardians amidst the brick and asphalt, a hollow way through.

Sometime, though, visiting my dad, the trees had all been felled, and he was surprised he couldn’t remember when. Some landmarks do that. So present in the memory they don’t need to be there to be cited still: left at the trees, or straight along past. Spirits of the wooden way, sentinel at the end of the road, a portal and a passageway.

Ghost trees standing. Whispering still.

About the Writer

E. E. Rhodes is an archaeologist and writer who lives in Cardiff, with 5000 books, a tolerant partner, and probably quite a few mice. Her work can be found in a number of anthologies, zines and journals. Connect with her on Twitter @electra_rhodes

About the Artist

Ali is an artist who was part of a successful campaign to save 81 mature Lime trees from being felled to make way for developments in the heart of Walthamstow London.

About the Bonsai

The Ash bonsai was collected from between cracks in paving slabs in my brother's front garden. It is not an easy bonsai choice due to its large leaves but it is fast growing and tough. Ash is the 'Tree of Life' from Norse myhtology. See if you can spot any ash trees near you; in spring look out for the matt-black spear shaped buds.

Artist: Melanie Honebone Writer: Ginny Reddick

Melanie's art work and a Hornbeam bonsai

Trinket Trunks

trinket trunks
weave glittering webs
into homespun  clouds
I stand
in garland shade
and breathe
just breathe

About the Writer

Ginny Reddick is 47 years old. She lives in Walthamstow with her lovely family and their dog.

About the Artist

Melanie Honebone is a Wales-based fine artist and social care worker. She often works with mixed media and photography. Recent works have evolved her practice to include three dimensional mixed media art forms based on dolls, machines, and the human form. During lockdown this has evolved into examining the natural world in more detail due to the back garden being THE place to be seen in 2020

About the Bonsai

This Hornbeam was grown from nursery stock. It makes a good bonsai choice for the UK but dislikes London's hard tap water so needs rinsing out with rainwater whenever possible, otherwise salts build up in the soil and turn the leaves brown
There are many old, beautifully twisted and contorted Hornbeams in the Walthamstow end of Epping Forest.

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