Pandemic Pondering #329

Yesterday was Valentines Day. Over commercialised and lacking originality the day is often the same year after year. 2021 though , felt a little different because everything feels different. There seemed to be less of a focus on romantic love and more on community love. Which is jolly convenient as the image above is about all sorts of Love. The picture above is the Love Tree , found just outside Saltash in Cornwall and the subject of a blog last year. Link below.

https://theoldmortuary.design/2020/02/13/love-tree-jelly-shoe/

It is a local focus for fetish objects to do with love of all sorts. Talisman and mementoes are hidden in roots and the cracks and crevaces of the trunk of this old Elm tree. The custom is hundreds of years old.

The image of the tree was supposed to be artfully printed in gold foil on an abstract watercolour background. The original image and the painted backgrounds are lost in a print shop , victims of the Lockdowns. The exhibition they were intended for never happened. Soon I am going to learn to do Linocut Printing so that this image can have a new and different future.

Different as it turns out is the theme for this blog.

https://www.china-fleet.co.uk/

My Valentines Day was made very different by attending a local sports club to receive my first Vaccine against Covid 19. A brilliantly organised and efficient service staffed by happy and helpful volunteers. A triumph of Science and humanity against a difficult adversary. Aided and abetted in this country by poor political decisions.

My umbrella, needed, on the day, because of the torrential rain, but also, as it happens, as a metaphor for a brighter future post vaccine.

I am very grateful.

Pandemic Pondering #73

The Love Tree in Spring. My last visit to this intriguing tree was in early February when a pandemic was brewing far away. A little over a month after my first visit to the tree,despite the government’s inactivity @theoldmortuary we were already limiting our contact with other humans. Better to be safe than sorry.

I had read about the tree in a local publication and was interested in using it as an image
https://issuu.com/cornerstonevision/docs/issuu_love_saltash_february_20

The February photograph I used to create a print. The first of a series of works, I hope.

Love tree , wearing Spring green. Taken from the opposite side of the tree.

The Love Tree is also known as the Family Tree. People have carved their initials on the trunk for centuries. It is said that there was a leper colony nearby and that some of the early carvings date back to that period. The tree is also known as the Family tree with people hiding small fetish objects associated with their children in the nooks and crannies of the tree and it’s roots.

This gnome was an engaging chap with his apple harvest in his basket. Who put him here and what is his significance , hidden in this tree, on a remote Cornish lane. The same question hangs over each little object.

Some of the objects are placed in hard to reach places.

High up among the carved initials.

The Love or Family tree also has a new pandemic message.

Something we are all trying to do.

Pandemic Pondering #72

Spring in Cornwall is often beautiful but it is always tempered with a lot of rain. This year, in Lockdown, Spring in Cornwall has been magnificent. The beautiful show of wild flowers on Cornish hedges are more perfect than ever, almost Chelsea Flower Show perfect, because they haven’t been subjected to the bad weather of most years. Today I got up early to catch them in the rising sun. The bees were busy and the tiny lanes were a symphony of bird song, buzzy bees and pollinators whose names I do not know.

The pictures start at home and end with the Love Tree. I wrote a blog on 13th February called Love Tree/Jelly Shoe.
https://theoldmortuary.design/2020/02/13/

Tomorrow it will get another whole blog to itself .

@theoldmortuary poppies.

Beautiful seed heads on some grasses that have just turned up in our front garden planters

The perimeter wall of Trematon Castle swells with vibrant colour every May and June.

I painted one of the more formal walls of the castle,in Spring, a couple of years ago.

The next few images are an homage to perfect Foxgloves. These are the hardy perennial show stoppers of the Cornish hedges around here. Their strong architectural shape is indicative of Spring in Cornish hedgerows. Usually on closer inspection that are a little battered and bruised by traditional West Country weather. In Cornwall the day Lockdown was announced the weather became sunny and for the most part predictable . The next images are a celebration of Foxgloves in their prime, untarnished by the elements.

All Foxgloves were papped on the way to the Love Tree. I will start off with a couple nearest to the castle, after that the blog gets unashamedly pink.

I came across the cutest road sign on my travels. Steady On. Such a great statement to gently urge caution.

And it’s partner sign , politely thanking drivers for due diligence.

And finally, the Love Tree, tomorrow’s blog subject.

Love Tree/Jelly Shoe

There are only so many days that you can wake up to another grey, Cornish day and feel inspired by the stark bleakness of it all. Yesterday I walked the dogs in very quiet country lanes looking for a specific tree that I had read about in a local magazine.
http://cornerstonevision.com/the-love-tree/

Known as the Love Tree , I caught it in a rare moment of brightness. It interests me as I want to produce a simple tree image in the style of Art Nouveau for a project I’m working on.

It is a monumental Elm tree and the trunk is carved with initials, some of them very old. My photograph is not the best for showing this.

Because my eye was taken by a much more contemporary action. A child’s jelly shoe has been slotted into a woody crevice.

The remoteness of the rural location suggests this is a deliberate act. I am intrigued.