Billy Shannon

Acrylic on hand crafted board
120cm diameter


The Sentience series was inspired by observing the trees during a Vipassana meditation course. Looking up at the giant blue gums, their silent communication became quite palpable as well as the sense of the very long time their conversations must take, days rather than hours as their lives are much longer and slower than ours.

“Breath through the trees were as my own breath passing through my lungs’ alveoli, as well as the weighty energy of dhamma drawing in and out of the earth of my consciousness, reflected on a massive scale between earth and space through the sentient trees.”

There has been extensive research into the sentience in plant life, highlighted, for example, in books by Monica Gagliano, Suzanne Simard and Peter Wohlleben, which indicates that the conversations continue both through the air, via scents, and underground via the mycelium of fungi. Accordingly, on the unseen verso of this work I’ve painted the unperceived, underground portion of this conversation

Recently I have been exploring the ‘tondo’ format. I started doing this because I had some left over MDF board, so I bought a router and started making circles. They have an intrinsic compositional beauty which I am loving at present.

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