Woodland Understory – Jessica Palmer – Week One
29 May 2020
British artist, Jessica Palmer, launched the Virtual Forest of Imagination 2o20 with her beautiful paper artwork, Woodland Understory series, a discipline which involves collage, paper sculpture, paper cutting, digital drawing and painting. Jessica has been part of Forest since the beginning and this year has been inspired by the community farm, Bath City Farm, and her own forays into nature during the Covid 19 crisis. As part of our Virtual Forest of Imagination 2020 Jessica created a series of videos depicting her working to inspire, enthuse and provoke others to get use their imagination and create, make and play.
Below she describes the thinking and process behind this work:
“This is my Woodland Understory. This is one piece from a series of three. It’s called a triptych when you have three pieces of artwork which are designed to sit together. Each box frame has been custom made to a certain size so that it fits the location where it will be installed. I have one large box in the centre and two smaller boxes, which will be situated either side.
“I’ve painted the interior of the boxes with grey acrylic paint and then I’ve laid gold leaf, in layers, over that surface. I have wire-brushed the layers of gold leaf to create a distressed surface. I want the gold to reflect the light, but not to dominate the piece. The colour palette is a mixture of greens of all hues with browns and hints of white and gold. This is to reflect and re-imagine the understory or woodland floor.
“I have made fungi, ferns, grasses and a variety of wild flowers which can be found in ancient woodlands such as Woodspurge, Dog’s Mercury, Woodruff, Lily of the valley, buttercups, Sedge, Wood Anenomes, and Wood Sorrel, among other things. This is still a work in progress and I will also be making some insects to sit and climb amongst the leaves and flowers.
“I have made all the foliage, toad petals, leaves and so on in advance using a combination of printed and hand-painted papers from my own collection. The only materials I’m using are thin wire, hot glue and dry Oasis, into which I am planting the pre-made pieces. I’m trying to get a contrast of shapes, textures, colours, proportions and size so that the eye is taken on a journey into an often overlooked part of our natural world.
My intention is that the end result – entirely made of paper and wire – will be full of details, inspired by nature, to observe and enjoy.”