Exhibitions | On Tree Time Exhibition

“When I begin to draw an ancient tree I’m struck by a powerful feeling of my being a short-lived creature amongst ancients.”

‘On Tree Time’ 4th – 20th June,  Edinburgh Palette, Edinburgh

An exhibition about the ways in which trees adapt and endure. Although they move too slowly for us to perceive, over the span of centuries wood flows, trunks twist and limbs turn. Here Tansy Lee Moir presents a new body of works on paper in charcoal, pastel and oil, celebrating the resilience and life force of trees.

This exhibition brings together three strands of work about ‘Tree Time’, a phrase coined by long time champion of ancient trees, Ted Green and one which chimes with her experience of discovering and drawing them for the last 12 years.

Artist Talk

An artist talk about the inspiration, processes and techniques behind my new work can be viewed here»

Tansy Lee Moir drawing with charcoal

Rivers of oak

Exploring the enduring beauty and fluid movement of non-living wood. Though we might think of this as ‘dead wood’, not only is it teeming with tiny lives, it is also a key component of a rare and valuable wider ecosystem, being recycled almost as slowly as it grew. These charcoal drawings transfer the oak’s slow dance onto the paper with a mixture of bold gestural marks and subtle shifts in tone, creating an ethereal ambiguity, balancing boldness and delicacy, suggesting closely observed trees, watery forms or expressive figures.


Phoenix Trees

Celebrating the ways that trees adapt and respond to catastrophe. Their fantastical shapes, odd angles and luscious mossy colours are expressed here in oils and pastels.

a pastel painting of a tree

The persistence and vibrancy of these phoenix trees provided a comforting metaphor during the difficult 2020/21 winter and the process of making them provided a positive focus in a time of uncertainty.


Woodland Drawings

Made while sitting with the tree, capturing the energy and movement of a particular tree in conté and sanguine, recording that first moment of connection to bring it back to the viewer.

a drawing of a tree made in a woodland

All here are phoenix trees, growing horizontally in messy, contorted assemblages of living and non-living wood. Including birch, beech, ash, sycamore, horse chestnut and drawn from two or more viewpoints to better understand their complexity.