The Green Man Tree
1993, mixed media collage, 10.5 x 21.5", by Jenny Badger Sultan
When I first saw the images of the Green Man in medieval church sculptures, I was very drawn to them. He is usually surrounded by leaves and has leaves issuing from his mouth. Here Iíve combined him with the Tree, another potent symbol. In his book, The Green Man: the Archetype of our Oneness with the Earth, William Anderson writes:
The Green Man signifies irrepressible life. Once he has come into your awareness, you will find him speaking to you wherever you go. He is an image from the depths of prehistory: he appears and seems to die and then comes again, after long forgettings at many periods in the past two thousand years. In his origins he is much older than our Christian era. In all his appearances he is an image of renewal and rebirth, and it is my aim in this book to show that his reappearance today in art and as a symbol of environmental movements is of the profoundest significance for humanity.See also the later, much larger painting The Green Man: a fuller statement of the theme.