Amongst the Trees – Hugh Alcock – Sept 28 – Oct 9

I produce what might be labelled landscape art. Though, I haven’t consciously chosen this genre. It’s simply that trees, in particular, have always fascinated me. They have a quiet presence that can be overlooked. But when you pay attention to them you are captivated by their endlessly varied forms. I like to think of their limbs as the aggregate of their actions. While trees don’t spontaneously move like animals, they do move imperceptibly by their growth. They reach for the light, push against gravity and bend with the wind – the traces of these movements are manifest in their shapes. Moreover, their appearance is in constant flux, changing with the time of day and the seasons. They are as intensely alive as any creatures that crawl amongst them. For these reasons, trees are a mesmerising subject for me.

There are no people or overt traces of human activity in any of my drawings. That is deliberate. Traditionally, landscapes do feature these things. They are, in this way, pictures about us. I do not want that. I have a keen interest in nature itself – stripped of our concerns and preoccupations – something which historically few artists share. In general, our civilisation’s passing over of nature in this way is, I feel, symptomatic of a sickness that has led to our rapacious destruction of it. This saddens me. As Bill McKibben puts it: “We have killed off nature – that world entirely independent of us which was here before we arrived and which encircled and supported our human society.” My work, then, is a lament that highlights the quiet beauty of the natural world.






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