My Winter Obsession Peace and Hope for Ukraine

Ginkgo Lawn

This fall I happened upon a neighborhood Ginkgo tree just as her leaves were dropping. I know it is a ‘her’ because she has the most foul smelling fruit! The leaf falling was a phenomenon I had never witnessed before -the yard was flooded with a cascading yellow leaves, carpeting the lawn. Within 24 hours virtually all the leaves went from the tree to the lawn. While they were falling you could hear them cascading to the ground.

I took some pictures and gathered up a bag of leaves to play with at home. Thus began my winter obsession of playing with Ginkgo leaves. I photographed the leaves, I scanned leaves, I pressed leaves to preserve them, and I started making cyanotypes with the leaves and images of the leaves.

As the winter progressed I found myself dashing outside to make a print or two when the sun was at its height, but sometimes when it was overcast, rainy or snowy. The novelty of each print being dependant on exposure time, time of day, and how the chemistry is applied to the paper, and what combination of negatives I use means that EACH image is different, either in subtle or not so subtle ways. As I accumulated prints I kept pondering–what am I going to do with all of these prints?

Fast forward to February 20th-the beginning of the war in Ukraine. As a first generation American of Hungarian ancestry this war has a level of meaning for me. In my reading about Ginkgo trees, I learned that in Chinese literature and Art, the Gingko is a symbol of Peace and Hope. Apparently there was a reason why these leaves took hold of my imagination!

I have moved several of the prints to my Etsy site and will donate 10% of the sales to the International Committee of the Red Cross. I also have a collection of them at a local Salon who has generously allowed me to sell them locally- So we will see how that goes. Gotta do something with all this fear, sadness and anger.


Gingko Images

Success! You're on the list.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s