The Allerton Oak is a much-loved feature of Calderstones Park in the suburbs of Liverpool, inspiring generations of local people with its enigmatic presence. Working from field images and sketches, I created a painting of the tree in the Spring of 2014.
Calderstones Park is a beautifully maintained urban park and gardens formerly the grounds of Harthill and Calderstones Houses, and five miles south of the centre of Liverpool.
The park contains the remarkable living record of a far earlier moment in the city’s history. An ancient sessile oak tree (Quercus petraea) which is likely to date from the middle ages.
Spring dresses its branches yearly in a riot of fresh green leaves, by winter the tree sits skeletal.
I wished to pay homage in some small way to this venerable oak. My intention was to try and capture the inner light of this ancient living thing, to make a a canvas that was similarly ‘alive’.
In doing so I came to know it better, and to be bewildered by the possibility of its quiet sentience.
UPDATE: In 2020 I returned to paint the tree for a new commission, follow this link for The Allerton Oak II.
Acrylic on canvas, (100x70cm)
The painting was exhibited at Corke Gallery Celebrating Landscapes (5-26th July 2014) and the 11th Open Art Exhibition (12 March-17 June 2015) at the Grosvenor Museum, Chester.
An Edition of 10 Giclée prints, individually signed and numbered, printed on 310gsm archival paper are available.
Please get in touch if you are interested in purchasing one of the few remaining from this set.