How Storytelling Can Bring Art To Life

I have always enjoyed storytelling, whether through my art, poetry or short stories. Being able to combine this with the use of the spoken word (my voice) adds power to a story and the images used to depict it. I took this approach with my story ‘Tree Layers’.

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Tree Layers 8

Where Did I Get The Idea For The Story Tree Layers?

Old Oak Tree Companion

I bought my house here on the mountainside in Italy 22 years ago. There is a small lake/reservoir near the house and overlooking the lake was a large oak tree.

Over the years, the oak tree provided a lot of entertainment. Birds would nest there, herons would sit in the branches. Buzzards would sit high up in the tree, ready to swoop down on any unsuspecting small animal that dared to wander underneath it. The antics of the animals around the tree were part of my storytelling of our life here in Italy.

My dog would even get it’s lead wrapped around the trunk when we walked past and have to be disentangled. The tree was part of our lives.

The Oak Tree Died

Three years ago, I realized that the oak tree had not grown any leaves after the winter. With horror, I realized it had died.

I was overwhelmed with sadness. The tree was such a part of our everyday life; its loss was so sad. The branches looked so stark as parts of them started to fall in the wind and lay discarded on the ground below.

Telling The Story Of The Tree

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The Tree Layers Collection Story Board

I was inspired to tell the story of this glorious old tree. I started by taking a photograph of the dead tree and then created a series of digital pieces based on the photograph. I found words came with the pieces I created and eventually I wrote down the story and called it ‘Tree Layers’. The name came from the concentric circles, known as annual growth rings, of a tree that denote its age.

The storytelling spoke about the seasons the trees had lived through, how its leaves had fallen and then rebirth had occurred in the spring. I imagined how small animals and birds had taken shelter under its branches during stormy weather. And I told how the energy of the tree still lives on.

Adding The Spoken Word

With a series of images depicting the life of the tree and a written story, I still felt something was missing. I realized the storytelling needed my voice to complete the circle. And that is how this video ‘The Tree Layers Collection’ was born. Click and listen to my short story and enjoy the images that illustrate

Creating the video completed the drive I had to tell the story of this glorious old tree. Storytelling bringing art to life through the use of the spoken word.

About the Author:

I am a fine art photographer, acrylic artist and writer. Promoting the use of art for healing and enhancing the mood of the environment in which a piece of art sits is an important focus for my work. I specialize in photo art, working on my own photographs to develop their story further. I write poetry and write a blog as well as short stories and have fun combining my art and writing. A Fellow of Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), I am also a Buddhist and my spiritual life makes an important contribution to my work. I live in Umbria, Italy with my husband, dogs and a large number of cats.

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