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Enveloping the Past

Great War Tree Barnstaple

It was by chance I noticed this while walking in a local park. The blue caught my eye and I wondered initially if it was some modern detritus thrown down. As I walked closer it was clear to see it was a commemorative plaque celebrating a return to peace after the Great War. There have been many fitting tributes in stone that were erected after the conflict and most recently the sea of ceramic poppies at the tower of London. All of them help us remember the Great War in this it's centenary year. Yet this tribute which began as a simple tree planting also frames the emotions of this unique historical milestone. The passing of time and change as the tree has grown and the continuation of a living thing around a note of a time in history that saw so much loss. The soft edges of the natural tree against the harsh metal also carry meaning. Sometimes chance and the natural world can communicate as clearly as the invented.