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MY FASCINATION WITH THE TREE OF LIFE

Trees have always held a special place in my heart. From the huge baobab trees of northern South Africa to the towering redwoods of California, these are some of the biggest, tallest, and oldest living organisms on Earth! They are silent witnesses to history and guardians of the ecosystem. Trees are symbols rich with meaning, providing a sense of stability and continuity in a world that is constantly changing.


Baobab

Redwood

TREES IN MYTHOLOGY

Trees have been revered across cultures and religions for thousands of years. They are often seen as symbols of life, growth, and resilience. One of the most heartfelt symbols associated with trees is the Tree of Life. These mythological trees symbolize the interconnectedness of all life. Their roots reach deep into the earth, drawing sustenance, while their branches stretch towards the heavens, linking the earth and the sky. This symbolism resonates with me on a personal level, as it embodies the balance and harmony that trees bring to our world.


THE TREE OF LIFE: A UNIVERSAL SYMBOL

The Tree of Life is more than just a mythological concept. It is a powerful symbol that transcends cultures and religions, representing the idea that all life on Earth is interconnected and interdependent. This concept is beautifully illustrated in the scientific understanding of the tree of life, which shows the evolutionary relationships between different species.

The Tree of Life demonstrates how all living organism s, from the smallest bacteria to the largest mammals, are related through common ancestry. It is a testament to the diversity and complexity of life, highlighting the importance of preserving biodiversity. Each branch of this tree represents a unique lineage, showcasing the adaptability and resilience of life on Earth.


CREATING MY OWN TREES OF LIFE

When I decided to create my own version of the Tree of Life, I kept all of these thoughts in mind. I wanted to express this deep connection through my art, so I chose to free motion machine embroider and machine couch my Trees of Life.


My first Tree of Life was embroidered using shades of bright red and orange on a black background. After quilting it with blue thread, the background appeared almost navy. I transformed this piece into a handbag.


Tree of Life 1

Inspired by this combination, I created another tree in shades of red and orange but on a purple background. This became a cushion that now lives happily in someone's home in Cape Town.


Tree of Life 2

My third Tree of Life, which is my personal favourite, was embroidered in bright green on a black background. I also turned this one into a handbag.


Tree of Life 3

As if three Trees of Life were not enough, I created a fourth one some time later. This time, I used a long - arm quilting machine, quilting the background in neon colo u rs and couching the tree in pure merino wool. I had so much fun with this piece, and I think I finally got the Tree of Life obsession out of my system!


Tree of Life Couched

LESSONS FROM TREES

My fascination with trees has taught me many valuable lessons. Trees embody patience and endurance, growing slowly over time and weathering the storms that come their way. They remind me of the importance of staying grounded, yet being flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances. There are many more lessons to be learned from trees, but for now, this will do.


Trees are more than just plants; they are symbols of life, growth, and interconnectedness. My fascination with trees has deep ened my appreciation for nature and the intricate web of life that sustains us all. Whether admired for their beauty, revered in mythology, or studied in science, trees hold a profound significance that transcends time and culture.


As I continue to explore the world of trees, I am constantly reminded of the wisdom they impart and the vital role they play in our lives. In a world where change is the only constant, trees stand as enduring symbols of resilience, connection, and the unending cycle of life.


In a future blog, I will show you other ways I have incorporated trees in my work. In most of these pieces, trees form the focal point and not just a beautiful backdrop!


Until next time, lots of love,

Tilly

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