• Once upon a time forest floor | Ann Shelton

Ann Shelton

Once upon a time forest floor | Ann Shelton

Regular price $10,500.00

Ann Shelton

Once upon a time forest floor (Elder, Black Elder, Boor Tree, Elderberry, Elder Bush, Pipe Tree, European Elderberry, Bour Tree, Hylder, Hylantree, Eldrum, Hollunder, Su- reau, Hildemoer, Lady Ellhorn, Sweet Elder)

Archival pigment print on Hahnemühle Bamboo

Artwork: 44 1/8 x 33 1/8 in (112 x 84 cm)
Framed: 45 5/8 x 34 5/8 x 2 1/4 in (116 x 88 x 5 cm)



Elder is a fascinating and old tree steeped in pre-Christian folklore and tradition regarding communing with those on the “other side” and with goddesses, and witches themselves. The wood itself is sacred and forbidden to be burned in some cultures and the plant has many medicinal uses. The work is intentionally structured as a heap or assemblage using stones, moss, ferns, leaves, and white elder flowers. The barely visible horizon-line refers to the darkness of the woods connecting this image to the dark forest floor compositions of Rachel Ruysch (3 June 1664 – 12 October 1750), a Dutch still-life painter and leading protagonist of this European genre who was internationally famous during her lifetime. 

Once upon a time, forest floor… references her work, A 'Forest Floor' Still Life of Flowers circa 1650 and embodies a discussion around the critical reception of flower paintings, seen perhaps as oversentimental and yet crucially a site of significant cultural, social, and political meaning.