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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 May 2007, 05:56 GMT 06:56 UK
Wrapped tree art goes on display
"Bound" tree in Montgomeryshire PICTURE: Alex Ramsay

An artist's four-year project to enliven prominent dead trees by wrapping them in coloured cloth has been turned into an exhibition.

Philippa Lawrence aims to decorate trees in each of the 13 old counties of Wales as part of a scheme called Bound.

Originally planned as a one-off piece for the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Bound expanded across Wales.

Photographs of each of the nine trees completed so far are on display at the Glynn Vivian Gallery in Swansea.

Ms Lawrence, who is a senior lecturer at University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC), travelled the country looking for majestic dead trees in sites which could be seen from paths or roads.

She contacted landowners to seek permission and then spent days at a time wrapping the trees in dyed material.

I also wanted to make people appreciate again something that they do see everyday
Philippa Lawrence

Suitable trees were found and wrapped in the old counties of Anglesey, Brecknockshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, Glamorgan, Monmouthshire, Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire.

She is still planning to find trees in Caernarvonshire, Flintshire, Merioneth and Pembrokeshire to complete the Bound project and is hoping sales of the two metre-high prints displayed in the exhibition will help to fund it.

Bound was originally funded by a 10,000 grant from the Arts Council of Wales' annual Creative Wales awards but this money has now run out.

One of the most prominent trees was located next to the A48 on the outskirts of Cardiff. It was wrapped in pale blue cloth and had red tips and could be seen from the roadside for a year.

The Bound project also saw a tree wrapped in red cotton voile at Llanyre, near Llandrindod Wells.

Another in the Conwy Valley was wrapped in yellow paper, while the tree at the National Botanic Garden of Wales was covered in white bandages.

'Bound' tree (picture courtesy of National Botanic Garden of Wales)
This tree at the National Botanic Garden was wrapped in white bandages

"I'd always been very interested in making art work outside of the public gallery spaces," said Ms Lawrence, 39, who trained in fine art printmaking at the Royal College of Art in London.

"I also wanted to make people appreciate again something that they do see every day.

"But it was also always my promise to the landowner to change the trees back to their previous state."

Ms Lawrence said she did not actively publicise any part of the project while she was working on it because she liked people to discover and speculate on the trees themselves.

The images of the trees will be exhibited alongside Ms Lawrence's other works, including a dead Bonsai tree wrapped in coloured thread.

The exhibition at the Glynn Vivian Gallery runs until 8 July.




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