St. Bede's School

Tree of Wonder

As a Force For Nature ambassador for the Tree Council, one of my roles is to hold workshops in schools.

This particular class was part of a gardening and environmental group so there was a shared affinity for recycling and the world we live in.  I was later told by the teacher that the children enjoyed hearing my story, what inspires me and the positive message I send out about the environment with my art and process.  I was pleased to show them my “Tree of Wonder” collage, commissioned by The Tree Council and my workshop enabled the children to enjoy some art therapy and “escape” through art.

Examples of collage art by the children, inspired by “The Tree of Wonder”

When I was first given the brief by the Tree Council, I was sent a number of interesting images of bark from trees under the microscope. The texture shown in the photograph gave me the idea to use cardboard packaging material for the tree trunk and branches of the willow tree in my collage:

I was asked to incorporate meaningful words within the artwork, including some of the text from a poem written by a young Tree Council ambassador:

I also took some pictures of willow trees in North Yorkshire for inspiration as I like to work from my own photography.  In art the willow tree is said to symbolise life, growth, renewal and rebirth.  As I already have another piece of artwork named “Tree of Life”, I decided to call this collage “Tree of Wonder” because of the way in which the Young Tree Champions programme gives young people the opportunity to connect with each other, trees and nature.

I took the “Tree of Wonder” in its earlier stages to another workshop and again brought with me some of the packaging material and discarded scratch cards for the class to reuse and work into their collage art.

I showed the group how I cut each leaf from recycled card to carefully stick onto the canvas.  I also hole-punched the gold and silver card to create hundreds of small dots to create the children and birds in the artwork.  The idea of using metallic colours, also for the circles bordering the collage was to represent orbs of light in the Tree Council’s immersive exhibition.

The art group I worked with in a woodland setting produced collages on canvases, which are displayed on easels in this photograph.  This artwork was inspired by The Tree of Wonder.

I am delighted that the framed Tree of Wonder is now on display at the Force For Nature Exhibition from 12-15 June at Birmingham Botanical Gardens:

Giclee prints of this design are available to purchase on 100% cotton, acid free, 315 gsm paper, reproduced to Fine Art Trade Guild standards, using approved inks and paper.  They have a display life of 75 years (out of direct sunlight).

For further information about prints and workshops, please email

Online workshops by Zoom/Teams also available

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