My place

My Place

Goerge stone circlehannah phil2
 

I live on a large organic farm on the edge of Salisbury Plain. We are in a hand built wooden home made by my husband Philthetree and are right next to an ancient apple orchard full of knarly old trees, plum and pear trees too. At the back of the orchard the present landowners grandfather planted some giant Redwood trees, and these tower over the orchard and surrounding fields, home to a family of croaky Ravens who I can usually hear, but rarely see.

chickens and geese 

 

Fourteen years ago I pitched up here, having met my then to be husband and finding him living here in a very ‘alternative’ environment and so different from the way I used to live. I came from a beautiful sixteenth century cottage, and he was living in a dark dingy old caravan withHannah phil handfasting his dog Blaize and cat Poppy. I was so relieved to escape my old corporate life that the caravan was a sanctuary for me whilst I worked out how I was going to start my life as an artist, something I’d always wanted to do but never been able to. Blaize welcomed me into the small family. Poppy, less welcoming, tolerated me – and my adventure began.

 

Years later, we live in our little wooden home, cosy and mostly warm. In the winter here we are surrounded by a quagmire of liquid mud and it can be quite hard when the water and gas freeze and my workshop is too cold to sit in. On those days I huddle by the Rayburn with George the cat and try to do some sketching indoors, usually ending up snoozing as the winter day darkens outside.

 Bungle Greenhouse

Summer is entirely different. On sunny days I love to have my breakfast out on the deck, watching the chickens run round the orchard and the cats stroll lazily up for a cuddle. I go early to the studio and spend the day working on silver or artwork, usually spending several weeks on one or the other before switching between the two.

 

Phil loves to grow as much food for us as he can, and the far end of the orchard is turned cover Allotmentto his allotment, poly tunnel and greenhouse. He has a passion for tomatoes, usually going way over the top with them and the poly tunnel ends up like a massive hot house of triffid like tomato plants that Bungle the cat likes to sit underneath, getting hotter and hotter until she flakes out completely.

 

Shortly after I moved onto the farm, and before I started life as an artist, we worked together planting trees and hedges, mostly on theorchard tree hills overlooking Avebury and Silbury Hill. I remember many cold January and February days, wrapped in many layers of warm clothing, tramping up and down fields, sheltering in small coppices against the prevailing wind and rain, and looking over towards Silbury Hill and West Kennet Long Barrow to the north and west. It was hard work but quite magical at times and now we drive past these maturing woodlands and hedges and know that we planted something beautiful. We discovered a lot of small sarsen stones thrown into the hedges and we brought some home to create our own stone circle in the orchard. This is where I photograph all my jewellery and its my own small space for meditating or sitting on sunny days or bright moonlit nights, when I’m chasing an idea in my mind and following the path it takes me down to see where it leads.

Top