Visual Response

Together as a group we discussed our initial ideas towards martin wood and what our responses where, working well as a group we had ideas about doing a collaborative piece but then after discussion thought that it would be best to do individual pieces. While our group work flowed nicely, and we worked well together we came to the conclusion that as we have ranging styles of practice it would be nice and quite effective to have our own responses as it allows for an individual and unique response from the different personalities within our group. Shauna in her own practice works a lot with digital art and has been recently been getting into photography so that is how she responded to the wood, Bronte experimented with continuous line drawing combined with the use of watercolour to create her piece, Nicole used watercolour on canvas as her response and finally Hannah has used the medium of ink to represent the masses number of trees within the wood.

Artwork by Shauna Morland

In my response to the wood I wanted to use an art practice that I have been recently been loving in my own practice that coincidentally has relations with my work for the wood, that being photography and digital art. Walking through the wood and listening to the experts I was shows a new way of looking at a landscape I thought I was used to. Seeing what it needs to thrive and survive, the nature that lives within it, and what can disturb its progress and growth and survival and I wanted to show through my art a new way of looking at the wood, as this was my response to it to this I use adobe and isolate details of the wood and enlarge and edit them to bring attention back to the little details people miss as well as bringing attention to the invisible issues we face of air pollution. 

Artwork by Bronte Teal Manning

For my piece of work for this project, I decided I wanted to keep it simplistic because when I took the trip to the wood, I found myself thinking how it was so peaceful and doesn’t connect to the chaos we see every day. By this, I am referring to the complexities of technology and unnatural things. The media I decided to use for this was watercolours and a fine liner. I decided to create this work outside around nature, so I could engage with the natural setting while working. I started by adding watercolour which I splashed on to the paper without any control. I then left this to dry, and I added the continuous line of the tree by following the placement of the watercolour on the page.

Artwork by Hannah Nevis

 This piece I have created in response to martin wood, I have used a range of different inks on cartridge paper which I had damp. the forest in my painting has a face because the moods had a mind of its own like it was detached from the rest of the world, the wood is very alive and I wanted to show the life through my work. The purple ink is to show the life through my work. The purple ink is to show the wild blue bells that grew there which was one of the first things I noticed about the wood.

Artwork by Nicole Stead

This piece is influence from one of my photographs started by adding green watercolour at the bottom of the canvas and then went on to add the tree trunks. I found the watercolour rain in a very pleasing way. My first thought was to have it almost look like the rain had done to this piece I found the brown for the tree trunks almost painted themselves with the running colour and as it reached the still wet green at the bottom of the canvas it spread almost like roots. I went on to add green as leaves and pink as colour to accent the purple flowers in the image. I wanted the pink to be the focal point of the piece and what draws you into the composition. I find the double branched tree to the far left drags your eyes into the composition and the roots on the far right tree draws you to the composition.


This Spring, Chrysalis Arts has been a part of a Second Year BA Fine Art project at York St John University. The project, Seeing the Wood from the Trees, aims to help the students respond creatively to Marton Wood and to consider their artistic practice in the context of ecological issues.

Read more about it in our News Story: York St. John Students Engage with Marton Wood.

May 2022
Bronte Teal Manning, Shauna Morland, Hannah Nevis, Nicole Stead