Reflections on: Leaving (a study of Autumn)

To celebrate #NationalTreeWeek, artist Lowri Evans reflects on recent project Leaving, a participatory public event which took place under three trees in Salford during Autumn 2021.  Read more about Leaving here. All photography by MA Socially Engaged Photography graduate Joseph Lee.

Leaving (a study of Autumn)

It went from light to dark.

It wasn’t a quick service. To work out what to write on a leaf, you need to understand through careful inquiry, what exactly you want to let go of,

In a rec ground, under a beech tree, on a dry day, with rain at the end,

In an orchard, under a quince tree, on a dry day, with damp mist,

On a uni campus, under a weeping willow tree, with freezing feet.

The trees rustled and waved, the leaves danced and fell, there were always a few leaves in my hair. There were ladybirds in my typewriter. A dog.

Eighteen conversations,

I liked the connections and turning points.

It was hard not to think about autumn, with the orange everywhere, the change in the air, as I heard about turning points.

There was quietness too, holy somehow. Some time, in the time. The shhhh of the trees.

I liked the way people talked about the trees, how fond they were of them, how much they walked by or watched them, what they got out of them.

I liked how happy the people were to get a leaf. I hope they liked being listened to.

Lowri Evans
December 2021

A large willow tree takes up most of the image. Underneath the tree, three people sit chatting and smiling around a small table. The image was taken around sunset, so the light is beginning to fade. Passers by walk by.