Whistling Thorn, Kenya is part of the inaugural series of artworks by Adrian Houston on Sedition, which in turn are part of the artist's ongoing project A Portrait of the Tree.
"Nature has intensity so strong it gives you a totally different view on the world. When you witness earth’s natural power, it is sometimes hard to see its underlying fragility. But scratch beneath the surface and it is there. This need to protect what we have before it is too late has influenced my work for as long as I can remember.
When you witness first-hand the natural power of the earth, it makes you realise the sheer force of what surrounds us and gives us the ability the breathe. Trees are one of the reasons that we exist and ultimately our survival depends on them so we must do all we can to protect them.
Over the past four years I have immersed myself in the world of trees. Trees have lived decades longer than any human being on the planet. They are old and wise and I have acknowledged that with my artistic vision – A Portrait of the Tree."- Adrian Houston.
A Portrait of the Tree was conceived as a way of illustrating how trees connect us all on a universal level. The stories behind the chosen subjects are an important link to the photographs themselves. Together they offer a powerful tool to help educate people, from children through to adults, about the vital role that trees play in all of our lives”. The members of this group are as diverse as they are influential, from Sir Richard Branson, actress Goldie Hawn and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason to Tony Kirkham, Head of Arboretum at Kew Gardens, designer Jasper Conran and Chairman of Condé Nast Britain Nicholas Coleridge. A publication of the project featuring portraits of trees that captured the imaginations of famous and influential people will be released in September 2021.
"Action Oak is supporting important research into the health of the UK’s native oak trees, which are facing numerous threats due to climate change and multiple pests and diseases. Adrian’s stunning photographs capture the majesty of these iconic trees." - Geraint Richards, Chair of Action Oak.
“Trees have for millennia influenced humankind; our traditions, our culture and our way of life. Adrian Houston’s photographs capture, like no other exhibition, the beauty and mystery of trees and their role in our life. To protect trees against exotic pests and diseases means also protecting our lives and traditions.” - Ralf Lopian, Chairperson of the International Steering Committee for the International Year of Plant Health.
“As a tree practitioner and tree lover I enjoy seeing and meeting special trees in gardens and in their natural settings like a woodland and this is one of the many reasons for spending a lifetime working with them. The next best thing is seeing a good image that captures the natural beauty of a good specimen, old or young, common or rare, and there are few photographers that can do that well. Adrian is one of these photographers that can see the potential and seizes the moment to capture that beauty at any time of the day or night and I have yet to see him fail to please" - Tony Kirkham: MBE VMH Head of Arboretum Kew Gardens.