In the heart of the Peak District in Northern England lies a village called Hope, in the stunning Hope Valley.
A village of wonder…
The relationship to nature, the seasons of the trees, the seasons of human emotions and relationships, the seasons of business, from conceptual seed to actualised dream, too difficulty and struggle, to new investment and growth. Our relation to nature is ever present. Life is cyclical, a wave of highs and lows whilst we continually grow and evolve. I often watch the trees for the relationship to the self, witnessing the tree go from empty bare tree - the blank canvas where everything is possible. As we see the new shoots begin to appear - the seeds of thoughts and ideas, through to full bloom in summer symbolising the actualisation of our dreams. As the season matures the colours change and shift, showing the maturity of our creations, our artwork, our business. Then as the tree sheds its leaves, preparing for hibernation in winter, and thus creating new space for growth and progression.
This is a deeply personal project for me, I have been blessed with a deep understanding of my path, my dear friend and advisor Eric calls me the ‘can opener’ for I give people the space allowing them to see their truth. For which I do though photography. I have had the joy to travel the world doing what I love meeting incredible people, witnessing breathtaking nature hiking to Everest base camp, heading out into the wild in search of Head Hunters in Tribal Nagaland, to being exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery, London. To then hit rock bottom, going through divorce, moving back to my parents house due to financial struggles with an 8 hour round trip to see my son for the weekend. Which made way for a book deal for a project I’d been working on for almost 5 years.
I have always gazed with fascination at the resilience of nature, how the sun effortlessly sets, the beauty of a blossoming flower for only a few weeks a year, to the seasoning changes of trees. Now I can relate, more so to the trees than I ever thought possible. For we are ever evolving trees in human form, growing through our own seasons, always hopeful, knowing the troughs lead to unimaginable peaks. The Tree of Hope is that relationship, it is that growth. It is through this project I become a ‘Can Opener’ for myself, allowing myself to bare witness to the truth, growth and cycles of life.
This admiration of nature and the resilience of the natural world. Witnessing how perfectly imperfect everything that surrounds us is, watching the sun setting you realise how futile your efforts are to try to control the world around us. There is a universal force governing life, a force we do not see, some allude to this as God, some call it Energy, some imply the Universe, others the Quantum Field and some referring to this as the Matrix, wherever our beliefs lie, there is something outside of the self we feel guides us.
This relation to nature and the creation of ideas, this universal energy where all thought and concepts come from, as the tree grows, theses ideas come to us, the creators, the Universe ‘God’ the quantum field knowing who will work on them and bring them to fruition. This idea also helps to give distance from the ‘thing’, ‘thought’ or ‘idea’ for we are not our creation, but mearly a shepherd, a conduit for the the idea to come through…
Once this is actualised, we must let it go, in whichever direction it needs, never forcing, but as the winds blows, so should our thoughts. Comparative to the winter season, where the tree will shed it leaves, knowing intuitively, there will be a greater bloom the following summer. We carry this idea of non-attachment through for new ideas, new growth, new ventures & new relationships.