A Woodland Feast

by Gary Hickin

I hope the following explanation of this still life may be of interest. The image was inspired by the recent announcement that a consultation on the future of publicly owned forests and woodland was to go ahead with the idea that they should be offered up for private ownership in various guises.
I currently specialise in producing still life work influenced by the style of Renaissance artists, particularly Dutch and Flemish masters whose own work was often full of symbolism including social/political commentary.
I decided to fill the pewter porringer bowl with a selection of woodland items symbolising forests and woodland in general as a commodity offered up for consumption. Pinecones are symbolic of honesty, longevity and resilience. In various faiths they are also symbolic of the third eye (Pineal gland) enabling a connection to God and therefore symbolic of illumination in which we see things clearly. The oak leaf is symbolic of strength and reliability. The National Trust, Forestry Commission and Woodland Trust all use symbols like these in their logos. The feathers symbolise freedom and the right to roam although the black feather is also symbolic of bad dreams of what may be ahead. The pearls are traditionally symbolic of purity, harmony and humility but there is also a cautionary message- ‘ Do not throw your pearls before swine or they will trample them under their feet and turn and tear you to pieces...’.
The egg is symbolic of the cycle of life whilst the sphere represents the Earth ( Spring, Pagan). The pewter wine goblet and flagon symbolise power, opulence, myth and fantasy. I think that the meaning of the knife is fairly clear whilst the fork has already started without us! The bell sounds a warning,the coins and dice represent a gamble. The closed books- a closed mind.
Cheers, Gary
Uploaded28/01/2011 - 02:42
CategoryStill Life
Shutter Speed30 sec
Focal LengthN/A

Posted 28/01/2011 - 06:33 Link
Wonderland photo!!!
Posted 28/01/2011 - 13:26 Link
Another masterpiece. Perfect lights and arrangement. I can look your pictures for hours, I can find always some new details.
My website
Posted 28/01/2011 - 14:21 Link
A veritabe old master, Gary. Such richness and texture!
Best wishes,


"These places mean something and it's the job of a photographer to figure-out what the hell it is."
Robert Adams
"The camera doesn't make a bit of difference.  All of them can record what you are seeing.  But, you have to SEE."
Ernst Hass
My website: http://www.ephotozine.com/user/bwlchmawr-199050 http://s927.photobucket.com/home/ADC3440/index
Posted 28/01/2011 - 16:09 Link
Same comments as I made for the Seventh Day but would like to ask if you get any insperation for you pictures from any books? if so what sort of books.Kindest regards Peter.
Posted 28/01/2011 - 18:56 Link
They keep getting better Gary.

Photography is not a sport. It has no rules. Everything must be dared and tried! (Bill Brandt)
Posted 28/01/2011 - 22:13 Link
A wee bit under exposed for me regards Ron

Posted 29/01/2011 - 18:42 Link
PPG link
Edited by puma: 29/01/2011 - 18:42
Posted 29/01/2011 - 20:55 Link
Topmost quality work again to be envied and inspired! Congrats and thanks for sharing, Gary!
Gary Hickin
Posted 30/01/2011 - 12:19 Link
Trubshore wrote:
Same comments as I made for the Seventh Day but would like to ask if you get any insperation for you pictures from any books? if so what sort of books.Kindest regards Peter.

Hello Peter,
Thank you for your continued interest in my work, as for inspiration the images just pop up in my head! The hard part is putting it all together and producing a decently lit photograph. I have studied the history of Art for many years as part of my profession so I guess that it is inevitable that I have countless images stored somewhere in my little brain, these certainly influence my style.
Cheers, Gary

Add Comment

To leave a comment - Log in to Pentax User or create a new account.