Hereford Ancient Trees and other images

Exploring ideas for Dreams and Reality – working on sequences of images – how the sequence of images work together – what order enhances the images and how / do they tell a story or convey an idea.  

Learning Outcome 1 (LO1)
Understand photographic research.
1.1 Identify a subject for a photographic project.
1.2 Carry out research for a photographic project.

Task 2 (AC 2.1, 2.2)
Develop your ideas of ‘Dreams – Reality’ using your early research as the starting point. It will involve making a series of test shots, and analysing your images in the sketchbook/blog.

Ancient Trees 

The Spanish Chestnut Avenue at Croft Castle, Herefordshire is an avenue of pollarded sweet chestnuts stretching for 1km to the west of the castle. The story told is that the chestnuts were taken from captured Spanish vessels during the battle of the Spanish Armada (1588) and planted at Croft between 1580 and 1680 – making some of the trees over 400 years old. It is said they represent the formal battle plan of the ships at the Armada.

The first of the trees below was named one of the ’50 Great British Trees’ in 2002.

A few years ago an exhibition related to the Croft ancient trees stated –  ”The importance of trees and woodland remains high on the environmental agenda decades after concerns were first raised about the impact of global deforestation – a process that began centuries ago, motivated amongst other causes by the need for shelter and fuel, agricultural development, naval trade and warfare. Despite this now familiar story of use, misuse and destruction, we retain a powerful connection to trees. In legend, folklore, art, poetry, literature and song they are symbols of knowledge, shelter, stability and life. The sight of magnificent ancient trees invariably moves us with pragmatic admiration and almost subconscious attraction. The exhibition asks us to question what this strong bond between man and trees is: is it an ancient, elemental recognition or is it related to purely cultural and emotional associations?”


The Lake 

Artist in residenceMoff Skellington at Canwood Gallery: ”his images are at once familiar and strange, both in style and content, everyday life is given a dreamlike intensity in which comedy and menace are present in equal measure. His style vacillates between sophisticated caricature and the crudely primitive. The images are sometimes rendered in the greys and blacks of 1940s film noir, or at other times in luxuriant full colour. ” Inspired by Paul Klee, Miro, Max Ernst and Dubuffet.

Entrance and Stairs 

Barred and broken doors and windows 

Sculptured Heads



Beth Moon Photographer born 1956 – Ancient Trees 

” “Portraits of Time” is a fourteen year project to create a series of portraits of ancient trees from around the world that explores time and survival, celebrating the wonders of nature that have endured throughout the centuries. The criteria I use for choosing particular trees are: immense size, great age, and notable history. Locations are researched by a number of methods: history books, botanical books, tree registers, newspaper articles, and information from friends and fellow travelers.

Few of these trees have signposts or any markings/recognition. Indeed, they often grow in unexpected places, seemingly unaware of their surroundings, as if they exist in another world. Many of the trees I have photographed have survived because they are out of reach of civilization; on mountainsides, private estates, or on protected land.

I have photographed many of the oldest yews in the United Kingdom, as well as the bristlecone pines in the mountains of California (some of which are nearly 4,000 years old). These monumental trees exhibit a heroic presence not usually found in younger trees. Hidden in the grooves of their tattered trunks is a perfection of beauty derived from an age that comes with its own threat.

Standing as the earth’s largest and oldest living monuments, I believe these symbolic trees will take on a greater significance, especially at a time when our focus is directed at finding better ways to live with the environment. By feeling a larger sense of time and developing a relationship with the natural world, we carry that awareness with us as it becomes a part of who we are. I cannot imagine a better way to commemorate the lives of the world’s most remarkable trees, many of which are in danger of destruction, than by exhibiting their portraits.” –  Beth Moon

Mark Frith artist : two ancient oaks – from the exhibition at Kew of 22 drawings of ancient oak trees – drawn over a period of 3 years.



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