The Long View is a creative documentary about trees. That’s the simple bit. But there are many layers. Led by Harriet Fraser and Rob Fraser, with support from a host of tree experts and organisations concerned with environmental balance, The Long View introduces seven spectacularly located trees in a slow journey through the Lake District, through all the seasons, in 2016 and 2017.
We have asked what trees mean to us, how being with them affects us, how they change through the seasons, how they function and behave, what they depend on, and what depends on them. Through photography and writing we have shared what we have found out about these and other trees we encounter along the way, and the landscape they inhabit. We have developed our responses to walking journeys and the trees in a collection of images and poetry, and through a series of installations in the landscape around the trees. And, through meetings, talks and walks, some of which are recorded in the blog, we have also been discussing the benefits of having more trees in The Lake District, and in other rural and urban areas across the UK.
You can follow our stories on this website, walk to the trees, get involved in an event, share your own tree story, and visit The Long View exhibition from June 21st 2017 in Grizedale Forest, Cumbria, and through 2018 in other UK venues. And if you’d like to sit with these trees at leisure, there is a book – 184 pages, bursting with photographs and food for thought.
Will you notice the trees when they change?
For a short period of time in 2016, each of the seven trees, or the landscape close to them, was temporarily altered through the addition of one of the colours from the rainbow spectrum. The colour change at each tree drew on its local environment as well as wider issues about environmental health, and the way we connect with and understand ourselves and the world around us.
when you step into the world of a tree – beneath its canopy – something changes.
try it. pause. breathe. look around.
reflect. step into tree time.
Seven Trees, Seven Cities
The seven lone trees, which we have encountered and selected over the last five years, are beacons – they each have their individual stories, but these will reflect issues that relate to their species and to the wider landscape of Britain’s countryside and cities. The tour of The Long View exhibition to UK cities through 2018 is an exciting opportunity to discover special trees in those cities.
Tree Science & the environment
With support from a technical team from Lancaster University’s High Wire Centre for Digital Innovation, we’re going to be using some science to learn more about some of these trees, and translate what we find into an artistic output. Work at the Little Asby Hawthorn involved the use of a net of sensors that recorded the tree’s movement patterns and translated these into light.
We have also consulted with arboreal specialists, ecologists and biologists – this is fundamental to our own learning, and we have shared what we’ve learnt through the blog and the book.