It’s no secret that I seek a lot of inspiration for my work from the natural world. Equally, art prompts many of my short story and flash fiction ideas. Happily the current exhibition at the RWA Gallery in Bristol allows me to draw from both these sources at once.
Arboretum: The Art of Trees, The Arborealists and Other Artists (on until 8 March 2015) fills the galleries of the RWA with reaching branches, twisting shadows and a sense of dappled light. Glass cases offer up foraged seeds and leaves transformed to resemble shards of bark, while along the centre of the space a line of spindly saplings stand – half tree, half lamppost – like something from a dream.
I found myself gazing at the triptych above, remembering looking into a woodland pool – my eyes suddenly adjusting to the layers of shadows to recognise the mass of copulating toads in the depths. There’s a seed of a story in that.
And then there are all the myths tied in with forests and their damp, half-hidden places.
So this week, if you’re in the Bristol, why not visit the RWA and spend an afternoon in the company of painted trees? And if you’re further afield, a wintery woodland will do just as well.
If you write something prompted by this, please let me know by sending an email to Judy(at)socket creative.com. With your permission, I’d love to share it on SkyLightRain.com.