Barbara Murray and Paco Valera divide their time between the Yorkshire Dales and Spain and are inspired by the woodlands on their doorsteps. One wood is the mythically atmospheric ‘Shaw Gill Wood’ in Wensleydale, the other, privately owned ‘Can Coll Wood,’ near Barcelona. Their bold collection of prose-infused monochrome tree portraits is a powerful combination of poetry and photography. Their work encourages people to give time to the ‘passing through’ moments of reflection offered by woodlands. “Without trees, we cease to exist.”
Every crisis brings an opportunity: perhaps in the form of an unexpected invitation.
The “COVID situation” has forced us to abandon the physical display of Passing Through: An Exhibition of Poetry and Photography at the Dales Countryside Museum in November 2020. We were so looking forward to launching our debut work in Hawes, near the home in Sedbusk we have been unable to visit for nearly a year.
But it also brought forth the invitation to present our exhibition “on line” – intriguing and challenging us to use a different medium to transmit the same vision we had for the original portraits and poems.
Please enjoy the images and poems presented together and peruse the slideshows to view the images in extraordinary detail. If you would like to leave a comment, or if you have any enquiries about the work, please click: www.murrayvalera.com where you can securely leave your contact details.
Rather than spend time regretting the absence of far-away horizons, these times are inviting us to notice, to embrace and to harvest the richnesses right here on our doorsteps. For many people, what’s on their doorstep might appear to be all that is available at this time. That, plus our imagination.
We hope the words and images inspired by Shaw Gill and Can Coll – the two woodlands on our own doorsteps – will inspire you, also, to imaginatively linger.
Spend time appreciating whatever nature you have close by. You are being given an invitation, and being offered – with and through its very essence – a source of respite and sustenance.
Barbara Murray & Paco Valera,
St Pere de Ribes, November 2020