/07 Trees

Tom Hull


I shot this body of work in the fleeting few weeks of Spring in 2008. I had wanted to shoot a small project on the first blossoms of the New Year for a while, knowing that there was such a small window during which to make the relevant images. Spring has always been my favourite of the seasons, but I was very aware that I didn’t want to shoot an overly beautified collection of photographs, especially as the subject already has an intrinsic beauty. The first blossoms of the year start appearing towards the end of February, so it can still be very cold in the UK at that time. They rarely last more than a month, with different trees producing blossoms at slightly different times throughout this period. I had already planned a selection of locations the previous year, so I knew where I wanted to shoot and which sites would work, it was then just a matter of making sure I was at each location at the time that specific blossom was in-bloom. The locations are split between Brighton, on the south coast of the UK, where I grew up, and London, where I now live. I chose locations that had a specific personal meaning for me, from being on the street where I had my first job as a paperboy, another on the road where I grew up, also citing the location where I’d worked for an inspirational photographer in London. I maintained that I wanted to keep the feeling of this series as far away from the beautiful, happy connotations as possible. Where I could, I chose locations that would reflect both the first blossoms of the year, but also would show a more gritty, urban side of the cities that had sculpted my interest. I also chose to colour the project in such a way that would entice the viewer to make nostalgic connections to places that they too could perhaps imagine themselves. It was an enjoyable project to make and due to its short-lived nature, one that had to be planned, researched and executed in a minimal amount of time. In-keeping with the tone I wanted to convey with this project, I have always introduced the images with this short piece taken from a poem entitled

Craving for Spring by D.H. Lawrence

Come quickly, and vindicate us.
against too much death.
Come quickly, and stir the rotten globe of the world from within,
burst it with germination, with world anew.
Come now, to us, your adherents, who cannot flower from the ice.
All the world gleams with the lilies of death the Unconquerable,
but come, give us our turn.
Enough of the virgins and lilies, of passionate, suffocating perfume of corruption,
no more narcissus perfume, lily harlots, the blades of sensation
piercing the flesh to blossom of death.
Have done, have done with this shuddering, delicious business
of thrilling ruin in the flesh, of pungent passion, of rare, death-edged ecstasy.