Abstract drawing of a tree in the wind

How Trees Move

This body of work was produced as a result of taking up dry media having moved her studio to her home during lockdown. Rooted in one location, Giuliano took to drawing what she saw out of her window. But not bucolic back garden scenes, rather, the movement she saw in the space around her: trees, birds, flags.

Giuliano picks the tip of a branch and follows its movement in the wind. Or a bird passing through the space. Or a mote floating in the air.

Later work better represents Giuliano’s ambition to show the movement of the tree. She is less locked in battle with the learned representation of ‘branchiness’. She is trying to express vigorous, exciting movement with darker more intense use of colour and material (the black charcoal).

This approaches the holy grail of observation for Giuliano. This is the ability to take one tip of a branch at a time and observe its movement and capture it in real time. And yet… does it move quite so linearly? Often a branch tip will sway in circles. She has resisted capturing circles of movement because the result will be too decorative and motif-like but recognises that at some point she will need to explore this.

Giuliano has really looked, isolated elements, observed, recorded without prejudice and prior learning and spent time translating them into marks. She has matched the materials to the movement – blurry denseness in the depth of the tree with charcoal; whipping sharpness of branch tips with ink pen and pencil – using them ‘responsibly’ to form a language for the movement. Additionally here she has used colour to express vigour. So the lighter the marks (she is a huge fan of white pencil on white paper) the more vigorous the movement.

Across many of these works she has found an unexpected outcome which is that they look somehow Oriental. She was reminded of a set of Chinese fans her grandmother owned which had delicate and abstract illustrations in muted colour palettes. Giuliano may be compelled to take a digression and explore this one day.

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Materials: Charcoal, coloured pencil, Conte Sanguine, white charcoal pencil, oil pastel, soft pastel on Farbriano paper.