Magic seeds planting instructions:
Best time to plant: Toss out your window on a full moon night
“Dear Santa can I have some magic seeds to grow a tree and some wood to build a treehouse…”
So began my daughter’s letter to Santa many years ago…I can assure you that this was not a test of faith, this was for real and the sentiment encapsulated all that is magical about treehouses and their hold on the imagination.
In the hierarchy of dens, a treehouse holds the loftiest position, a natural and ambitious progression from cushion and blanket constructions. A treehouse allows for passwords, codes and rules to be invoked and amended, a place to act out independent belonging. It is a home/haven outside of family convention…a little walk on the wild side.
Treehouses follow a unique aesthetic – they should look rough and ready, imperfect but also solid, a little dangerous and difficult to get into and most importantly somewhere you could hide away from sight.
The first print I made was an etching of my destined for destruction treehouse, precariously situated in a diseased Dutch elm in our back garden. That I was eighteen at the time goes to show how big a part it played in my childhood. Likewise the treehouse that answered my daughter’s letter sits perched on stilts in our treeless back garden and has since found its way into her paintings…nowadays it is just a shell of its former self, rotten in places and to some neighbours perhaps a bit of an eyesore but no one has the heart to dismantle it just yet.