Hold Hope in the World of the Tree - Ian Westacott
Artist Talk 2pm Saturday 1 October 2022
‘When national lockdown was enforced in Scotland, in March 2020, my visual inspiration was suddenly geographically restricted to my local studio/home area; the Scottish Government permitted once-a-day exercise. My ‘tree-search’ cycle rides were along single-track roads where I began to discover mature native Scots Pines over fences in croft (small holding) land
Whilst sitting beside the tree, drawing directly onto my prepared etching plate, crofters would come along to chat, happy for company, at a distance. I learnt about each tree’s personal significance and history directly relating to them. I had all but ignored these extraordinarily shaped pines during the twenty-eight years I had been living near Dornoch but now I became immersed creating linear plate marks attempting to echo and resonate with their bark, needles, scent and the immense symbolic power of their branch shapes.
These are ‘the grannie’ Scots Pine survivors; they once grew in forests covering whole hillsides in glens and straths. These survivors were saved from the chop due to their twisted, malformed trunk shapes and are still under threat and at the mercy of their landowners. (Trees in the UK are not fully protected).
For me, in this time of pandemics and climate emergency, the Scot Pine has become Scotland’s symbolic tree of hope and survival.’ – Ian Westacott, 2022
Printmaker Ian Westacott completed a Diploma in Art and Design at Wangaratta Technical College in …