Meadow Arts

The Exhibition

Tell it to the Trees

11 July 2009 – 15 September 2010
Croft Castle and Parkland, Yarpole, Near Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 9PW

Ancient woodlands, a mysterious picturesque valley, an intimate walled garden and a Gothic Castle are the setting for Tell it to the trees, a year long exhibition of contemporary sculptural installations and paintings at the National Trust’s Croft Castle in Herefordshire, from July 2009.

The National Trust


The Artist

Philippa Lawrence

Philippa Lawrence’s work usually consists of site-specific installations or collections of objects in response to place. Philippa has recently had a solo show at Oriel Davies and worked on a major commission for the Welsh Arts Council.


Cotton wrapped deceased oak
Meadow Arts commission (2009)

This monumental 46 foot deceased oak has been wrapped in thin strips of heavy duty cotton drill in a lengthy process that has taken close to a month. With Bound, Philippa Lawrence refers not only to the physical act of binding the trees in cloth but also to the closeness experienced while working so closely with the tree and in the landscape.

For the artist, wrapping is a meditative act and amounts to ‘revealing through concealing’. The form seems to be released and revealed through the temporary constraint of being bound in red fabric; our attention is drawn to the nature of this majestic tree as if for the first time. The choice of red fabric was instinctual. In this case – listening to the tree as much as telling.

Bound Bonsai II

Dead bonsai, silk thread
Courtesy of the artist

Like a distant echo of the monumental bound oak in the parkland, this fragile bonsai stands under cover on its plinth. Bonsais take their shape from their roots being bound and constricted; a prime example of man’s urge to shape and control nature. The artist took the step of painstakingly covering its branches in embroidery silk thread in a process that breaths new life into it.

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