The Grove:
Poetic Nature
(2019 - present)

“For deep time is measured in units that humble the human instant: millennia, epochs and aeons, instead of minutes, months and years. Deep time is kept by rock, ice, stalactites, seabed sediments and the drift of tectonic plates. Seen in deep time, things come alive that seemed inert. New responsibilities declare themselves. Ice breathes. Rock has tides. Mountains rise and fall. We live on a restless Earth.”― Robert Macfarlane, Underland: A Deep Time Journey

 

Birch Goddess_Carrie Barcomb 9 x 12 milk
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My "Grove"

Lenape-land, "Penn's Woods": the inspiration near my home.

 

Some people compare forests to cathedrals, finding peace and solace.

I've always been interesting in the idea of Sacred Groves, past and present.

The meaning of the word “tree” itself, and it’s root meaning is “to be firm, solid, steadfast,” and also means “trust” (Watkins Roots 17). With shared etymology apparent in Anglo-Saxon times, trēo, or “tree,” where each species is unique, but the main meaning of trustworthiness is shared by all, and is the nature of trees.

Growing up I was surrounded by trees, and today live in a home sheltered beneath towering 75-foot tall Red Oaks, Beech, and Tulip Trees.  Arborists in my area have begun discussing the future of these trees due to global changes from our warming climate. Foresters are adjusting management practices, and we're witnessing the disappearance of native tree species. Accumulating greenhouse gases are taking their toll on our forests. We're losing our environmental norms, and with it trust in the world around us. In my area, summertime heat singe and curl deciduous leaves, and milder winters offer trees little rest. Bark turns brittle and crack, while trees  uproot from weather extremes from drought and floods.These changes are discouraging, motivating me to abandon realism - to transcend representation.

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This series began on hikes through birch forests and climbing colorful rock formations of coastal Maine. I wanted to share the story of how even the smallest detail, whether lichen on rock or tree leaf is an essential part of our world. Beautifully composed and "perfect," worthy of respect. I've continued this practice of devotional intent in the local stretch of woodlands near my home in Pennsylvania. Exploring forests I use photography to document, and painting to express the energetic spaces in between. I use environmentally friendly materials and mediums like milk paint on wood, created en plein air.

The grove

Lichen on Granite_Carrie Barcomb 9 x 12
Birch Goddess
Moss and Stone
Wild Woods
Of Wind and Rain
Into the Dark Wood
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My Photography 

Documenting cycles of growth and decay of the forests and trees along my journey.