Roadkill – They’re cutting down our lovely trees

watercolour by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of tree stump

‘Arbour Essences’ – that’s what the next exhibition at The Olivier Cornet Gallery is about.  Author Paddy Woodworth and gallerist Olivier Cornet are curating a show about trees ‘in Anthropocene Dublin’ and they invited me to take part.

Trees connect us to our past and they live on into our future.  Like members of our family, they grow familiar as time passes – and certain trees take on a special significance for us.  For me, it was a craggy old Hawthorn tree that was growing in our back garden as we grew up.

Indeed, since the beginning of time, humans have had a sense that trees are sentient beings, that they can feel pain, that they bleed when hurt, that they can look scared or forlorn when neglected.  Watching their cycle of growth – the shedding of leaves in Autumn, the re-birth in Spring – people have long perceived trees as powerful symbols of life, death, and renewal.

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of felled tree for road widening

But, because of road widening and the new “bus corridors” in our local area, they’re cutting down our lovely trees.  It is quite a shock to see them cut down in their prime so, for the exhibition, I decided to create some watercolours of the tree stumps – as a kind of memorial.  (I was thinking of calling the series “Roadkill” but wiser voices prevailed).  Anyway, I became fascinated by these stumps.  Isn’t it amazing how they just want to keep on growing – as you can see below.  I don’t know if this was an original chestnut tree or did someone or some thing drop a chestnut down into the decaying trunk.

watercolour painting by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of tree stump with new growth

There are four artists involved in this exhibition:  Annika Berglund, Hugh Cummins, Yanny Petters and myself.  The exhibition is sponsored by Coillte and the official opening is next Sunday, the 14th of May, 2023 at 2.30pm.  The guest speaker is Pádraic Fogarty, ecologist and environmental scientist.  Do drop in to see us!


Pádraic Fogarty






  1. Cad a dhéanfaidh muid feasta gan adhmad, tá deireadh na gcoillte ar lár… 😦


  2. It must be hard to see this but the image with the new seedling is inspiring. There was a little (very little) garden in my town that was dear to me and particularly so during the pandemic as I haven’t a garden at the current time, but due to the expansion of the building nearby it was taken away after the pandemic lockdowns. I really felt it every time I went past but I seem to have got over it now. I felt it should have been treated like a sacred place given what it must have meant to others not just me. But hey, let’s go with the flow.


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