'Orchard' series, 2013 - 2014

Originally this work developed from original in the myth and symbolism of fruit trees. The apple and Eve. The pomegranate. A pear tree. For me the symbolism of the seasonal changes of the tree, from naked branches to blossom, from pollination to pear, from pruning to harvesting, conjure up a wealth of inspiring images. The effect of man’s interaction with the trees in an orchard was also of interest. Not just the pruning, but the alignment, the hand pruning or machine harvesting. Imposed geometry versus natural chaotic fruition and growth.  With abstract art the image can be all of these things at once, and more…

 The formal structure incorporating diagonals and triangles was a considered way for me to open up the canvas surface and use the geometry. After spending the last couple of years in a grid of horizontal and vertical mark making I hoped to liberate my mark making and free up the surfaces. The use of the expanding circle, drawn using both hands at the same time and in full arm-extension helped give me a sense of expansion and fruition, as well as echoing the rhythms created by the pruned branches as they sprout from the trunk.

'Tree' series, 2015 - 2017

During the year in which I painted the first paintings of this series I began to go to yoga classes and discovered a whole new world of symbols and meanings concerning the tree. I also came to understand the use of colour in representing the chakra and their interconnection with each other. This affected the series and in fact No. 4 was to reflect the time I spent in Sri Lanka in the mid-nineties. The resulting painting is evocative of paintings I did at that time too. The colours and the shapes reminded me of the rich foliage and bright colours of the Sri Lankan landscape and experience. No. 5 brought me to focus upon breathing, singing and the energy of the 5th chakra. Expression, voice and breath. The appearance of symmetry which is not in fact symmetrical and the expanded-arm drawing help make the paintings feel like body-maps. The tree then evolves into a symbol of the body and the vertical column, rooted or not, growing and expanding towards the sky or transcendence. I began to develop a series of work using Tree alone, as a body map and an energy field.

© 2020 all works and photographs

Jessica Langton

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