Friday, March 27, 2009



Artist David Hockney, quoted in Maev Kennedy, "David Hockney, the fallen beech trees and the lost canvas," The Guardian (March 27, 2009):
"I admit this may matter only to me. Perhaps nobody else would feel like this - and it was on such a remote little road hardly anyone else even saw them, perhaps two cars an hour might pass that way. But to me there was something shocking about the scene. The landscape I remembered was gone completely, and what remained looked like a scene from the first world war.

"To me even the approach to that little wood had a kind of grandeur, like the approach to some marvellous great temple, and the trees themselves were very large, very architectural, very majestic. I was really quite taken with them. It was like coming into some little village or town and finding that overnight the people had obliterated a great church that had stood there for 900 years.

"I admit they had a perfect right to do this - but it seems sad. If they had pulled down a great church people would have seen and asked questions, but nobody asked about these trees. Nobody asks enough questions any more."
Hockney had been painting seasonal views of a grove of sycamores and beeches, located near the village of Warter. He had completed views of the grove in summer and winter and was planning additional views in spring and fall. The Guardian article has reproductions of the two completed paintings, plus photographs of the grove before and after the massacre.

Hat tip: Eric Thomson.

Related posts: Executioners; Anagyrasian Spirit; Butchers of Our Poor Trees; Cruel Axes; Odi et Amo; Kentucky Chainsaw Massacre; Protection of Sacred Groves; Lex Luci Spoletina; Turullius and the Grove of Asclepius; Caesarian Section; Death of a Noble Pine; Two Yew Trees in Chilthorne, Somerset; The Fate of the Shrubbery at Weston; The Trees Are Down; Sad Ravages in the Woods; Strokes of Havoc; Maltreatment of Trees; Arboricide; An Impious Lumberjack; Erysichthon in Ovid; Erysichthon in Callimachus; Vandalism.

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