September 21, 2019 @ 12:00 pm
07814 Santa Gertrudis de Fruitera
Balearic Islands


from  12.00 – 24.00 hrs 

An exhibition of paintings, drawings and mixed media works by Mary-Lynne Stadler, with contributions from people from all around the world.

It all began when she met a tree, a very ancient olive tree, on the terraces in the campo behind San Carlos.

The first thing that immediately struck her that day of the first meeting was that she had a heart – a heart that was clearly defined and embraced by her old bent and broken branches.

She has lived through hundreds of years of winds and floods and droughts. She has weathered storms and diseases, as well as interventions by insects, and humans and animals. Every one of those experiences has been scored, more or less deeply, in every fibre, every creeping root and every one of her broken branches, and each one has left its individual mark. And yet, despite the ravages of centuries that have scarred her, she still has a warm and embracing heart that continues to beat with life, and sends fresh new growth to reach the sky.

Mary knew she had to make work about her, and started sketching, there in front of her, in the biting winter wind. There are so many facets to this tree, so much history locked in her, that no single image will tell her story well enough. She has drawn her in pencil and charcoal, ink and gouache and more. At times I have sketched her quickly and roughly, other times the work has been done more painstakingly and in more detail.

In the end, though, she hoped that the range of work mirrors something of the complex nature of the way a single, ancient tree grows, survives and flourishes through the centuries.

Once she started working she began to think more about trees that have featured in her life, and when she started talking to people she realised that they, too, could pick out certain trees from their histories. Then she heard a talk by Canadian forester, Susanne Simard, who has shown that trees have a vast communication network through their roots that covers distances that stretch for many kilometres.

So it occurred to her that it would be interesting to mirror the trees’ communications and start people talking to one another about their trees stories, and sharing their creative interpretations of trees. So that we could generate greater respect for these magnificent plants through making people more aware of their own personal connections to trees.

The contributions quickly started to pour in. And the more interesting, touching or creative ones will become part of the exhibition, as will work by Mary-Lynne’s students and local children.

In the meantime, when all the talk has been about climate change, we need more trees. The scientists are telling us that planting enough more trees could absorb enough CO2 from the atmosphere to give us another decade of breathing space.

So this exhibition is more than just an exhibition. It is a message from the old olive tree to each and every one of us to stop cutting down the trees, and to start planting more trees.

About the Artist

Mary-Lynne Stadler is a fine art painter and printmaker living on the island, and working from her studio at Elysian, in Es Canar.

She fulfilled a life-long ambition to study art as a mature student, when she took an Honours degree in Art and Creative Writing at Bath Spa University College, Bath, England in 2001. She was subsequently awarded a Fellowship in Stone Lithography at the same establishment, and, two years later, joined the Cyprus College of Art on a year-long Postgraduate Diploma in Art.

Cyprus has a way of working its seductive magic on a person, and for the next decade she found herself still living and working there. During that time she was an active member of the art community on the island, participating in many exhibitions and events, including the first Open Studios event there in 2006, and running art workshops for both adults and children at her studio. For a time, she also taught both printmaking and History of Art to the students at the Cyprus College of Art.

She has exhibited widely in the UK and in Cyprus, as well as here on Ibiza, and her work can be found in collections all over the world, from Hawaii to Hong Kong.

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