To celebrate National Tree Week, which is happening as we speak, I thought I'd draw your attention to the exhibition at the Twenty Twenty Gallery in Much Wenlock, Shropshire.
Annie Ovenden was a member of The Ruralists, a group influenced by music and literature, but aiming to understand the elements of nature. Their work tends to share a mystical, dreamy quality, with flat-looking surfaces and strong graphics. They continue to paint, but the group held its last exhibition in 2007.
Annie is known for her tree studies and landscapes of Cornwall where she lives, and a number of new works are for sale, both originals and prints. I think you can see elements of Ravillious and Samuel Palmer in her pictures, though her work tends towards greater stillness, perhaps.
Meanwhile, more prosaically, National Tree Week is this year emphasising trees' role in reducing the chance of flash floods, given their ability to moderate the impact of rainstorms. More poetically, Pauline Buchanan-Black, Director-General of the Tree Council, said," To be able to look out on a tree simply lifts my soul and gladdens my heart... Everyone should be able to see a tree from their window."
The message is, of course, to go out and plant one, but if you can't, one of Annie's pictures on the wall might be the next best thing.