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  • Writer's pictureHazel Mutch

Why Skytree

‘Skytree’ has been the name for the combined strands of my work for a few years now. It came to me one springtime when I became very aware of the pieces of sky framed by the bare branches of the trees. I realised how often I had seen the trees and not the sky, yet really the two are inseparable.

On those Spring walks among the trees, at a time in my life when I felt very adrift and alone, a deep sense reawakened in me that the space was also living and intelligent.

There was another time, many years before, when I experienced a jolting moment of revelation in an art class. We were being taught to draw what was in front of us by focusing on the spaces and suddenly my drawing became solid and balanced. But something much more significant happened deep inside me as I felt a sense of solidity and balance too. I was realising that there is more to what we see in front of us than what we can name, and recognising it connected me to the whole

It was a feeling utterly without words then, and over the years I’ve come to know and trust the reality of the living space around and within us which might be called consciousness, being, the cosmic ground, or energy field, or many other attempts to name it.

I chose ‘Skytree’ to represent my work before I fully understood why, and over time it has proved more and more to be an image which represents the experience which underpins all I try to do. So it would be more accurate to say it chose me, and I’ve been learning what it means ever since. I’m so glad to have the image and the word, for when I do feel adrift, when I get lost in my thoughts or beliefs and feel scared and alone. It helps me to come back to my awareness, to see my complex and ever-changing body and personality as the tree from the perspective of the sky all around and within.

It’s hard to find a skytree at this time of year, but a plant is a good alternative if you want to try drawing it by focusing on the shapes between the leaves and stems. You might end up with a nice drawing, but more importantly, you might notice a feeling that comes with the shift in focus and sense the mystery of the whole.

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