Sculpture by Simon Gudgeon in Kew Gardens

Leaf Spirit

Just by way of a change, and for some relief from my paintings, let me show this wonderful sculpture in Kew Gardens where we were yesterday

Not a sculptor whose work I know, although obviously world famous to others, I stood in admiration of this piece for quite a long while. Entitled the Leaf Spirit, it put me in mind of our familiar Green Man, the tree spirit that our ancestors worshipped long before Christianity. Not difficult to see why plant life evokes spiritual awakening in the minds of man

The belief persists. We still touch wood as an invocation to ancient spirits to protect us from harm, especially after saying something boastful, which might anger the gods, whichever one we believe in. Possibly a reflex action today, or do we feel uncomfortable if we haven’t done it

I am inspired to attempt a water colour of this piece. I think it would work. Would Simon Gudgeon feel happy about that or perhaps not. Maybe I will ask him, but not today

Leaf Spirit Profile

14 thoughts on “Sculpture by Simon Gudgeon in Kew Gardens

    • Thank you Emma, not often that sculpture makes a big impression on me but this one did
      I seem to be having a little run on Artfinder which is nice, especially as so few bricks and mortar exhibitions about. I am now up the dizzy height of eight sales, which I am very proud of. Your record is just amazing. There’s something about your work which just holds the attention
      Read your newsletter the other day. Recovery still slow after your leg injury I’m sorry to hear. These things do take time
      Thanks again for your comments

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, David. I did far too much walking the other day and I have put myself back. I got a sharp pain in my ankle I’d never had before._ I had to ring the physio and ask about it in case somwthing was really wrong. I think I just need to rest up and then continue with strengthening exercises. Recovery is taking forever!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry Emma but somehow missed your reply
        I’m very sorry to hear that. From what you described it was a very nasty break, and will require patience. It is frustrating when you can’t get on. My nearest equivelant was a ruptured Achilles tendon, and post-op took months. I think it was nearly six months before I could drive a car again, as pressing the clutch pedal was considered enough to tear the stitching open. I felt like a caged bird. Fortunately my wife could drive me to business meetings.
        Oh well, at least you can paint !!


      • Thank you, David. In a wierd way that helps. The healing and rehab is so slow. At least I can drive (the all important break foot being the right one). Yes, I feel like my wings have been clipped. I haven’t been able to go out and take new photos since the accident. I have resigned myself to it all taking a year to recover from fully. One doctor said that my ankle would never be the same as it was before the accident, which was rather depressing. Yes, thank God I can still paint!

        Liked by 1 person

      • One step at a time quite literally. That wasn’t intended to be humourous but just to say not to overdo things again
        In a perverse way, with Covid, the rest of the nation shared your incarceration and can sympathise with some degree of understanding. We are starting to go out again now of course, although even that feels strange
        Time to go back through your old photo stock and find some you may have missed, perhaps
        Good luck with the recuperation, Emma

        Liked by 1 person

      • I wasn’t expecting that! Oh dear!! That did make me laugh. As my mother says all accidents are by the nature “stupid”!I tripped over a branch because I was thinking about a photo I wanted to take, Your story is much funnier than mine!

        Liked by 1 person

      • We’ve been away Emma so catching up on emails
        Yes a lot of drink. Egged on by young girls at the party. Silly old fool, although not quite so old then. Misdiagnosed by the GP which didn’t help but went for surgery finally and then weeks convalescing
        My employers were wonderful and gave me work to do at home long before wfh was fashionable. But I belonged on site as I was furnishing hotels in those days, and my dear wife drove me around including into London which she did not like, but between us we managed
        Curiously a friend of mine in the parish ruptured his Achilles the same evening ( not drunk) and a business friend of mine in Southampton also same evening pushing his car. A strange phenomenum which medics call a cluster, I believe
        I can still do what I could before, but I have a swollen ankle for life, not to depress you but you may always have some reminder
        But as I said don’t rush things
        Just heard from my last buyer, who is delighted with Horses in the Snow, so nice to come back to

        Liked by 1 person

      • How strange for three of you do that in different ways around the same time – your wife was a saint, but I guess that;s the sort of thing that marriages are built on! I am sad to hear that swollen ankles dont go away. My ankle starts off a nice size in the morning and looks like it belongs to an elephant (to my mind) by the evening! Glad that you had a happy collectors!!


  1. To me it looks like the world is falling apart. The edges of the man’s face is rusty, and crumbling. His eyes are closed, and although there’s no sign of pain on his face, it do feels unhealthy. I think the sculpture was made to remind us how we have destroyed and still destroying the bounty God has given us in the name of business and infrastructure development. Mother Earth is silent for now and patient, but how long would she be like that is a question we must ask ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A perceptive view Farzana and not one I had thought of
      To us the tree spirit is deep in our psyche long before Christianity and bits live on even today. How long indeed before Mother Earth shrugs us off as she could so easily do? Covid 19 is just a sample

      Liked by 1 person

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