This series of drawings stem from walks I took in a local wooded area during Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020 and 2021. This tiny wood is situated on the banks of the Owenmore River in Erriff, Co Mayo. It is an old natural wild woodland mostly made up of twisted and bent sessile oak trees, ferns, mosses and lichens, the terrain is wet with lots of decaying wood which in turn support other plants and wildlife. These woodland areas are sometimes called Celtic rainforests or Atlantic rainforests due to our temperate climate. It’s a lovely wood to ramble through watching it change with the seasons and when the sun shone through its canopy it felt like I was immersed in an otherworldly magical place. Unfortunately only a tiny percent of these old natural woodlands can be found in Ireland today due to human activity over the centuries. Deforestation is a worldwide concern as their disappearance is adding to the damaging effects of climate change by reducing carbon storage and harming its biodiversity. The drawings are informed by photographs I took in the wood, memory and invention, the medium I used is a combination of graphite and mixed media on hot pressed Fabriano paper.

Betty Gannon tree for website EDITED.jpg