Wood Work

I am most at home in woodlands and have spent much time exploring, watching, and waiting in them, making large, durational drawings over many months. 

The first image, Elephant Grey, 2009 (4 x 1x1m panels), was made in Raasal Ashwood, near Torridon, Wester Ross, in 2009. A strip of ancient woodland growing from a seam of limestone that stretches up to Durness on the Northernmost coastline of mainland Scotland. These naturally occurring stands of lime-loving Ash have stood for generations, in testament to the composition of the underlying rock. The title refers to the colour tone of the mature trunks - a mid-grey likened to the colour of an elephant

A video was taken at Raasal in the autumn of 2009. In A Waiting/Fall, 2009 (SD video, 20mins) we are led into the work at daybreak. The entire film is shot from a single angle that enables the viewer to quietly contemplate the unfolding of colour, light, form, and movement as the tree slowly stirs.

The next large drawing, Langass Wood, 2010 (10m x 1.5m), was executed over several seasons and comprises of layers of gesso, graphite, charcoal, and peat water, lending an orange tint, in recognition of the underlying fragile peat at the base of this forestry plantation.

The next work, What Is Fallen Will Be Righted, 2013' (10 x 1.5m), was made on residency at Outlandia, an off-grid hut located in the Glen Nevis forest, Fort William. This work identifies the fragility of pine plantations that are poorly managed, leaving the timbers too close to root well or remain upright in the thin soils. Their fallen forms lay upon the forest floor, but new shoots start to grow from the trunks, forming new uprights. The woven meshwork generated above and below ground, by reason of new root systems, is recalled in the image, drawn with lichen and bark pastels and inks onto watercolour paper.

 © 2020 by Laura Donkers

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