“The grounds of the place were dominated by several large, old willow trees that towered over the surrounding stone wall and swayed soundlessly in the wind like lost souls.”
— Haruki Murakami
The Willow tree – known for its melancholic, haunting beauty. And for branches that bend with the wind, not resist it. A beacon of resilience and strength.
She by the Willow
By the edges of the lake she called and cried, her voice rising and falling with the wind. Arms flailing wildly, painting a story above her crown, of children that danced about her feet and scratched her skin, giggling as her sap dripped to the ground.
And of lovers that leaned against her, their hands
like the roots that curled about their feet.
She said. “Cross the lake to me.”
“For you need me more than you know.”
How could we present a range that describes the willow tree and remains true to its form? We began by uncovering facts about the willow tree – from its watery bark sap, to its tough wood, to the way it is planted to protect river banks from erosion. We sought to transplant our knowledge about the tree into prints; how could we craft a story of both melancholy and strength?
We also used a charcoal medium, as homage to the fact that willow wood is often used as artists’ charcoal, famed
for being soft and velvety black.
Her shy emerald pleats sways gently in the wind.
In her I witness time, held majestic within her pose.
Her secrets she’ll let you know, if you could get inside her bone.
But hints you’ll see, of the troubles she’s been.
In her tangled limbs and crinkled skin, there’s heartbreak, rejections and
possibly desperation. But also wim and vigour, strength and persistence
and desire to rise and stand above all odds.
So don’t you pity her, for she’ll be here
for long and after.