I’m not sure when my love affair with cherry blossom came into being. I’m not sure where I was when my heart began to swell at the mere beginning buds of cherry blossom on the trees. Bradford, where I was born and stayed until I was 10? Or Newcastle, where I enjoyed my formative years before escaping to London for my degree?
I’m not really sure when or where my deep appreciation and joy at seeing these puff balls of pinks or white or cerise came to be part of my being. I just know that I experience a child-like delight when I come across a tree in full cherry blossom bloom. My heart skips a beat and I’m jumping with glee, inside and outside, when cherry blossom comes into view. And the blossom is never here long enough for my liking.
Using the delicate pinks of cherry blossom, collaging with the images of cherry blossom in my visual journal, is my way of keeping the blooms alive, in my eyes and in my heart. Not just the sight of cherry blossom in my journal keeps these fragile blooms alive, but the feelings of joy and delight that they bring to my heart is kept alive too.
I created a special spread of cherry blossom for the BALTIC commission last year, that ended up being blown up from an A3 spread in a journal to an A0 poster size on a gallery space wall. In the middle of that spread is a Black woman smiling, almost dancing between the blossom, exuberating lush joy. This is me sharing my jubilation and love of cherry blossom with others.
This is my love letter to cherry blossom as well as giving thanks for the beauty of nature and how we are connected. How we are one.