Continuing the theme of less showy forms of public art here's some Tree Art. Found in woods near the miller's pond they are the work of not one but a group of artists. From the positioning on the trees I would suggest that the most accomplished of the artists was of average height, while other members of the crew may have been Little People. Or children.
Evoking the spirit of The Green Man or modern ceramic pieces by Gregos these pieces exist, not waiting to be noticed, not seeking likes or shares. I liked them so I'm going to share them.
Lady Raglan said (in 1939):
This figure I am convinced, is neither a figment of the imagination nor a symbol, but is taken from real life, and the question is whether there was any figure in real life from which it could have been taken. The answer, I think, is that there is but one of sufficient importance, the figure variously known as the Green Man, Jack-in-the-Green, Robin Hood, the King of May and the Garland King, who is the central figure in the May Day celebrations throughout Northern and Central Europe.
The disgorging Green Man, sprouting vegetation from his orifices, may also be seen as a memento mori, or a reminder of the death that await all men, as well as a Pagan representation of resurrection and rebirth, as new life naturally springs out of our human remains. The Greek and Roman god Dionysus/Bacchus, often suggested as an early precursor of the Green Man, was also associated with death and rebirth in his parallel guise as Okeanus.
Several of the ancient Celtic demigods, Bran the Blessed being one of the best known, become prophetic oracles once their heads had been cut off (another variant on the theme of death and resurrection) and, although these figures were not traditionally represented as decorated with leaves, there may be a link between them and the later stand-alone Green Man heads.
Go and tell Aunt Nancy:
In West Africa, the spider is portrayed as a trickster god, much like Coyote in the Native American stories. Called Anansi, he is forever stirring up mischief to get the better of other animals. In many stories, he is a god associated with creation, either of wisdom or storytelling. His tales were part of a rich oral tradition, and found their way to Jamaica and the Caribbean by way of the slave trade. Today, Anansi stories still appear in Africa.
Snails have been put to a variety of uses in folk medicine. According to North American folklore a snail soaked in vinegar, rolled in meal, and worn around the neck had the power to cure rheumatism. Snails have also been used to treat warts, made into broth to cure consumption, and snail slime was once thought to help straighten deformed limbs.
Photos by William Silverbeach-BradshawHi,
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