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#43 Woodpeckers

Woodpeckers (710mm x 890mm acrylic on canvas)

In the far reaches of the Cederberg, after a cosy night in a converted shepherds cottage, I was awoken by a rhythmical tapping, seemingly out of synch with the rhythms of the earth in this spectacular mountain setting, a sound which was soon traced to a pair of olive woodpeckers building a nest in a nearby tree. Their determination to chisel a nesting hole in this tree that had once been struck by lightning enabled me to get quite close to them, and create a series of sketches whilst they busily carved an enclave necessary in this often harsh land where summer’s air becomes laden and heavy with heat, and the winter winds chill all life to the bone.

The remoteness of this wonderful place allowed a chance to slow down and reconnect with the gentleness of the earth, and to prepare for the last stages of this 52 week journey, the final ten artworks, with the tapping of the woodpeckers resonating like a clock and reminding me to return to the studio and share their story.

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