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Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Pretty as a picture: Stephen Taylor

I have just discovered Stephen's art in Alain De Botton's, 'The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work'. The book itself initially confused me, and not knowing what to expect, I thought that of the chapters offered to me (cargo ship spotting, biscuit manufacture and rocket science to name a few), the chapter on painting appealed the most.

Here I met Stephen Taylor, a man who since wandering passed an oak tree after the death of his girlfriend (which raises an obvious but insensitive question mark), became obsessed with the notion that a particular lane side oak tree should be painted in all its glory, in all seasons, weathers and times, over a period of 2 years as it turned out. I don't have permission to show his work here, so check out The Mighty Oak Doing Life!

Oh, alright, just one:

I was rather taken with this notion, susceptible as I am to tree contemplation, and so I read on avidly. Just in case you might like a mental picture, I was at this point marching down the Cally Road with my now dried washing hanging from either arm, using my super sense to navigate round vagabonds, drop outs, betting men and strange types.

It was at this point that I found myself with tears in my eyes at the thought of this 250 year old oak tree knocking about with the birds and bees when Jane Austin was a babe in arms.

Trees really are fucking awesome. I've also been on a bit of a journey through time and space/ sense and sensibilities to the land (or should I say lands) of Yggdrasil; a mega tree in Norse mythology that connected 9 worlds, of which ours is just the one. Needless to say, one click and I was learning about the wise volvas of old (nothing like a Volvo); their wands, ways and wiles. One click more and I discovered that the last sighting of a banshee in Ireland was as recent as 1948, and one or two clicks more and I am vowing to spend my May Day or Midsummer at Stone Henge wearing flowers.

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