Prof. Scott Hahn explains is his “Homily Hints” the following: Through the oracles of the Prophet Ezekiel, God gave his people reason to hope. It would have been a cryptic message to his hearers, long centuries before the Lord's coming. Ezekiel glimpsed a day when the Lord would place a tree on a mountain in Israel, a tree that would 'put forth branches and bear fruit'. Who could have predicted that the tree would be a cross, on the hill of Calvary, and that the fruit would be salvation?

From the top of the cedar,
from the highest branch I will take a shoot
and plant it myself on a very high mountain.
I will plant it on the high mountain of Israel.
It will sprout branches and bear fruit,
and become a noble cedar.
Every kind of bird will live beneath it,
every winged creature rest in the shade of its branches.
And every tree of the field will learn that I, the Lord, am the one
who stunts tall trees and makes the low ones grow,
who withers green trees and makes the withered green.
I, the Lord, have spoken and I will do it.
Ezekiel 17:22-24

These leafless trees form part of a series of mixed media works on paper from a series I call, “Somerset on Fire”. I have tried to use the colour red in both of its meanings- as a cry of alarm and a colour of passion and love. The idea of fire again can have a dual meaning as fire both cleanses and is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. But of course it can also destroy. Depicted here is a leafless landscape awaiting water and fruitfulness.

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