The rhodi’s are growing, the terminal buds opening into leaves – not the flowers I had anticipated. The pink tip opens to momentarily form a crown of ‘petals’ around the pale soft baby leaves within. I cut some. The phrase ‘kill your babies’ flits through my thoughts as I ruin the downy surface with clumsy fingers and watch sap tearing along my rough cuts, a disturbing experience and yet curiosity drives me on.
Beneath the trees older leaves have already fallen, one white, another bright yellow, the cut shape more startling off the tree than on it.
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Tagged Artwork, Bud, Colour Choice, Curiosity, Cuts, Growth, Leaves, Nature of Change, Petals, Rhododendron, Trees
The first Sorbus arranensis leaf I saw was a wet brown thing lifted from the mulch under the tree by the Ranger Centre. In my haste – amid preparing for the launch – I nearly missed re-visiting that tree now so resplendent in flower and with each new leaf exquisite – perfectly and uniquely ‘cut’.So Sunday 2pm, there we were a small reception team huddled under the Rhododendron k arranensis in Cnocan Glade wondering if anyone would willingly join us in the rain. We watched the sky glow darker, the lightening flash through and fat drops of ‘tree rain’ plop into our prosecco cups and we toasted our unluck. The germans have a phrase: Glück im Unglück and that was ours, as the visitors arrived, the rain withdrew leaving globes of sunlight pooling wet leaves; a fitting backdrop as Sara read her story.
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Tagged Arran, Arran Ranger Service, Cnocan Glade, Launch, Leaves, National Trust for Scotland, Prosecco, Rain, Rhododendron, Sara Maitland, Sorbus arranensis, Story, Trees, Visitors, Weather
The story is written, it’s incredible! And it’s unfair to give anything more than a flavour here:
“The Rowan tree, Sorbus aucuparia, the mountain ash, the traveller’s tree; a laughing pioneer, it grows where other trees dare not go – further north, higher up in the free mountain air, crouching low against the vicious hill winds and the arctic blasts. Birches huddle together against the cold, but the rowan strides out alone, solitary and bold.”
I am really looking forward to hearing it read – by the author – on Sunday in Cnocan Glade. It’s about the place, the trees, the nature of change and so much more besides. Each time I read it another element – seamlessly woven in – leaps into life.
“It’s funny doing everything remotely, firing things off into space and waiting for them to come back again…”
I love this snippet from the to and fro of emails with artist/film-maker Catherine Weir. After filming on Arran she has distilled – from hours of ‘footage’ (pixelage?) – this wee film:
Cut, spliced, chopped and shuffled, it’s been a quest for essence, a long process – with considerable patience on Catherine’s part – through which I have come to realise I prefer being behind the artwork (and not spot-lit; describing what I’d really prefer others to find – or seek – for themselves). But I’m curious to know what others think.