FELICITY KEEFE IS A ILLUSTRATION GRADUATE FROM BRIGHTON UNIVERSITY
“The Language of Trees” is a continuing series of mixed media works on handmade paper by Felicity Keefe. As the German-Swiss poet, novelist and painter Herman Hesse stated, "Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth."
Keefe's desire to 'collect and depict' this subject is inspired by environment, myth and science. She is influenced by research into how trees and plants communicate in varied and slow-moving ways allowing the ecosystem to promote its conservation. She also connects mythology around trees and forests with its importance in animism and psychological metaphor. Trees link the past with the present, and each one planted becomes a gift to the future. They roll across time, here before us and most likely after us. The physical trees in her work are taken directly from her local environment, forming a backdrop and meaning to her small world and life.
Every work starts as a digital image photographed whilst walking or travelling by car or train. The work undergoes a series of manipulations, initially via computer, then into print and finally onto handmade paper. The change process continues with paint, ink and other mixed media to its completion. A burned wooden twig drawn upon a flat surface evolved into the digital devices we use to capture images today. Each piece runs this process backwards from digital to material connecting the landscape's present to its past. The echo of this connection over time is seen within each image.