In the English landscape, you often see a single, sizable and old tree standing in a flat and expansive landscape. Although it has the look of loneliness about it, it’s locational rootedness is a positive affirmation of its presence and its right to be there. It makes no apologies for its presence.
Whenever I see such a tree, it affirms in me “my right to be here” and I live and move through this beautiful world without any apology for my presence.
I was at the Tate Britain the other day and saw this wonderful portrait of Margaret Sweeney, the Duchess of Argyll. It was painted by Gerald Brockhurst 1890 – 1978.
As I looked at it, I was mesmerised by her gaze. To me her eyes communicate engagement, but also a kind of detachment and distance, as if she is assessing you and trying to grasp something of your character. It is a connected gaze, but cautious and discerning. Just an outstanding portrait.