Greenfall is an ongoing series of work arising from the intuitive and often spontaneous gathering of plant-matter, coupled with appropriation of human-made symbols of ‘progress’ and status which have ‘architected’ society in varying ways throughout history.
I often find the urge to capture a memento of place is irresistible, resulting (for me) in a later pleasure of discoveries – a feather from Far Ings, conker husks from a visit to Sewerby; but most often books filled with leaves and bound with a variety of materials to hold the treasure in place. When I make these collections, I have no plan and in the past, had no intention other than the desire of a reminder and to capture and hold elements of nature – fascinating to look at and think about – with me. Sometimes, these would be ‘put away’, to be forgotten and discovered later with a profound rush of recollection.
The first piece in the series, Greenfall (tower, tribute) was born out of finding a book of leaves which were gathered on a walk in Lincolnshire woodland in 2009. The book had been moved into different places in my studio over the years, each time a tidying or rearrangement became necessary. I would recognise, remember, replace, and forget.
Finally, in mid-2019 and amidst the calls of climate emergency, school children’s Friday strikes, Extinction Rebellion protests and the Grenfell Tower Inquiry the book emerged from a pile on a shelf. I felt this was the time to play with what the preserved woodland acer leaves might say, so I played, and from those games the Greenfall Series emerged.