This is a love story. A mesmerizing tale about two people who’ve shared their life more than 51 years, but, in actuality, the “love story” began long, long before that — over 1,100 years ago in English trees. That’s when certain trees began their life, and many centuries later entwined the lives and passion of a couple of artists named Lawrence and Victoria Elbroch.
It’s complicated, you see. They are from different geographic areas. She, the United Kingdom. He, New York City. They met and found thattheir mutual love and respect of trees was a key factor in ultimately melding their lives and art together. A love story indeed. With many deep roots.
Victoria works in mixed media. Ink, watercolor wash and on a grand scale. The detail, patterns and textures she captures in unforgiving mediums leaves one in awe. Her husband, an accomplished photographer in his own right, often collaborates with her, creating a digitized version of her work and selectively removes negative space, creating a palette of tree parts made through hand and mechanical means. The works generated are intricate masterpieces.
Many of this exhibition’s pieces in their “Encountering Ancient Trees” exhibition at the Gateway Gallery at Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, were created in response to a New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Artistic Advancement award that Vicky was granted, allowing them to spend unhurried weeks buried in the landscape of Vicky’s childhood in England, where the two of them could study, draw and photograph ancient solitary survivors. They spent time in a cottage on the grounds of a National Trust Property at Croft Castle in the Peak region of England. Surrounded by ancient English trees — 1,000 to 1,500 years old — they would visit the specimens frequently to indulge in their work in the grandeur of that place.