Ghosts for Marchmont

Where the ‘Ghosts’ came from

They began with a strange moment of recognition; an ailing beech found on a walk seeming to contain something figurative beyond the visible. Once I’d seen this I couldn’t unsee it – pareidolia was at work.

Philpstoun ghost beech by Tansy Lee MoirWhen I first started this series way back in 2012-13 I called them ‘Ghosts’ because they carried memories and echoes of things I couldn’t quite grasp on a conscious level, but sincerely wanted to connect with. For me, these works had a dark energy and a bittersweet mix of emotions behind them. The art was a way of expressing something I couldn’t do any other way and it’s quite difficult to write about even now. Their mystery was always appealing to both myself and the collectors who ultimately chose them.

view of an artist studio with charcoal and work in progress

As is often the way in creative work, I’ve found myself looping back to them this year. At the start of 2023, I began to see familiar trees in this way again, kept returning to darkness in my sketchbook and even dreamed of them. Time to make those images real then.

a dark figure-like charcoal drawing by Tansy Lee Moir

I’m delighted to have been commissioned to make a ‘Ghosts’ triptych for the Marchmont House collection this year. I’ll be in residence in the Old Squash Court soon to begin working on new ghostly charcoals for this stunning setting.

Read the full Marchmont story here.