Trees of Marchmont 5

The Sweeping Beech

drawing of a tree or figure by Tansy Lee Moir

My work is often linked to dance and there’s a common language in the way I draw trees and the human figure. Life drawing, in particular drawing movement has always been a part of my practice, which is why I’m excited to be collaborating with performance artist Suzi Cunningham and film poet Steve Smart on a short film bringing these threads together. Steve and I will be doing some filming while I’m on residency at Marchmont in June.

I found this dancing tree in the grounds of Marchmont House. There’s an 18th century elegance to it, with a graceful sweep of skirt above the hint of a bodice. If you look closely there’s also extensive scarring around the base, most likely from bark damage by grazing animals. In the time I spent with the tree that day I saw hares, roe deer and lots of sheep, so perhaps it’s a favourite spot for the nibblers.

As the sun tracked around the sky, I returned to the tree several times to get images in different lights. I don’t know yet which angles I’ll choose for the drawings – those decisions will come during my time in The Old Squash Court. The tree will tell me.

Read the full Marchmont story here.