Here’s my latest leaf work, a collaboration with the Autumnal cherry in Abbey Park. The licks of flame that the cherry produces at this time of the year are irresistible to me, the strong gradient and contrast of yellow and red just calls for some playtime.
Sure, leaves are beautiful when spread randomly on the ground, nature is the best artist, so the trick to working with nature is to add something that compliments the natural location, colour and shapes, so as not to detract from its inherent beauty, but in a way, add extra nature to it.
This piece achieves that by using the gradient change from yellow to red, as well as the shape of the cherry leaf itself. What emerges in addition is the reference to fire, a flame circling the base of the trunk, giving it an elaborate, fiery necklace, or as one passer by commented, a fiery yoni!
Working with nature is a challenge with setbacks galore, there is some compromise between what you want to achieve and what the elements, particularly the wind in this case, allow you to create. This is part of the joy of working in this way, the frustration created by a stray gust must be channeled back into the work, or else it fails. Persistence, and patience are key.
A final interesting observation is in the gradual increase in size of the leaves further from the trunk, this was not intentional, the younger, less developed leaves, are never red, while it seems that the larger, mature leaves do gain a red colouring. A vague rule seemed to be observable: the larger the leaf, the redder it will turn. This is interesting when you consider the theory that leaves turn red to extract more nutrients as the leaf shuts down. Smaller leaves are not worth the effort in initiating this extra Autumnal colour, but it could just show the younger leaves have not yet developed the ability to run red at all.
Here’s a study on why leaves turn red, which I found interesting considering. the above observation: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC125091/
Bring the outside in!
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