Catherine Brooks

Falling Ash

A heuristic study of self, loss and art therapy among the trees.

A personal lens explores fear in the face of uncertainty, climate change and COVID-19. Relationships between self and other materialise in nature and extend within an ecosystem. Trees represent aspects of grief, loss and isolation, with the native Ash tree featuring as a recurring symbol, enduring the trauma of disease (notably Ash Dieback), storms and stresses.

Click here to view a virtual tour of selected artwork on artsteps.

Selected pieces – Medicine Man, The Trees and Me, Borage Bee, Silvics, Log Face, Ash Light, Ash Mist and Sky Trees

Tree Poem

Tree Poem

Media: Fineliner on paper
Size: 21cm x 15cm
Year: 2019 – 2020

Twelve trees illustrate an abstract poem in fragments of narrative and emotion. Hope, healing, seen and unseen splitting and dancing all form part of their interconnected existence.

Apple represents recovery; fruiting after a barren year. Maple’s damage was unseen, a sudden collapse, the ash died slowly. The stark contrast between black and white ties to the duality of polarised thinking and psychological splitting resulting from trauma or grief.

Look up two ladders towards the sky. I am the squash growing upwards. I dance through the days towards the sun. Cycling nights and breathing weeks until the frost comes and I wither away. I live breath to breath, day to night, Summer to Winter. I am fruit and flower and as far as I have climbed I will fall back to the earth.

Falling Ash
A massive hole in the sky that was once filled.
Nature takes them half away, they are half-dead.
Toppling and shattering into pieces.
The bird’s nest is safe in the brambles.
Time slows down as it falls for an eternity.
It sways with gravity into the next world.
It’s on the floor, in pieces.
The ash tree is gone now but its body remains.
The roots remain underground.
When is the tree really dead?
When is the tree really gone?

Hidden Layers

About Catherine

Catherine studied Fine Art at the University of Reading, graduating in 2009 and has worked in creative, health and care roles since then. Her clinical training placements include inpatient neurology and adult forensic mental health.

Copyright © 2020 Catherine Brooks