Ronnie Creswell 

PRAYER TREES

It is written that early pilgrims used to attach scraps of cloth to the holy thornbush at Glastonbury in fulfilment on their vows, a practice that is echoed even now, for example in Japan – where visitors to a holy shrine hang their fortunes in the trees – and in Scotland – where tying a rag to the tree by the Cloutie Well is believed to grant a wish and keep the evil spirits away for a year. 

This work refers locally to the visits to the shrine of St Wite at Whitchurch Canonicorum by early pilgrims. 

It is a contemporary response to the tradition of Landscape painting, in which I have been influenced by the works of Richard Long and Andy Goldsworthy, and is an addition to my series of Organic Art. 

Initially, I stained muslin with teabags, pigment and food colours, and printed with feathers, leaves, twigs and fossils using pigment mixed with olive oil. They were intended to develop through hanging in the open air as natural processes, over time, brought about fading, growth of fungus, damage through tearing or nibbling by creatures etc.

I then moved on to using strips of laminated inkjet printed paper, which faded and ran when subjected to rain. These ones are strips from giclee prints, which may or may not be affected by the weather. It is about exploring what will happen if…. with different materials.

For the ArtsFest period I have added strips using inkjet prints and strips from muslin dyed with pigment, either side of the inkhet printed versions. These should deteriorate faster.

 

 All of my work refers in some way to the passing of time. In this case the reference is not only to pilgrimages – the historic dimension, but also to the alternative timescale offered by nature which will create changes, often unremarked but inexorable, in its own time.