Nature has intensity so strong it gives you a totally different view on the world. When you witness earth’s natural power, it is sometimes hard to see its underlying fragility. But scratch beneath the surface and it is there. This need to protect what we have before it is too late has influenced my work for as long as I can remember.
Over the last two decades I have been lucky enough to have travelled the globe, which has opened my mind and heart to the beauty of the world we live in. Even when confronted with a war zone in somewhere like Kashmir, nature’s beauty has shone through the feeling of danger and put me totally at ease.
Some years ago, I was lucky enough to witness the eruption of Kīlauea in the Hawaiian Islands. Standing watching the explosion of lava and rocks, with smoke trails bursting out of the volcano, my first thought was of our imminent demise.
But soon that feeling disappeared to be replaced by a sense of awe at the raw beauty and power on display. As I looked through my 4 x 5 camera, I realised how insignificant we all are. At the same time I was filled with an overwhelming desire to take greater care of our planet and do the upmost to protect it.
Five years ago, increasingly concerned that so many of our indigenous trees were being affected by disease and global warming, I decided to embark on an ambitious project to give trees a voice. The result was A Portrait of the Tree, featuring images and accompanying stories by such diverse individuals as Sir Richard Branson, Goldie Hawn and Raymond Blanc. Conceived as a way of illustrating how trees connect us all on a universal level, my retrospective has, I hope, helped educate about the vital role that trees play in all of our lives. After all, if there were no trees on the planet, we wouldn’t be here either.
When I am not travelling, I am based in my Soho studio in London.
Adrian Houston Studio 3 12 Bourchier Street London W1D4HZ
- A Portrait of the Tree book published by Quercus September 2021 book launch and exhibition at Rosewood London and The Unit Gallery London.
- Cambridge House Documentary Film on the restoration of this famous iconic building.
- Londoner Hotel Documentary of the journey from Demolition to the deepest excavation in central London to the launch this year.
- Sabina Estate Artwork and Campaign for the luxury gated community being created by Anton Billton and the World’s top ten Architects.
- Exhibition at the Maija Gallery in Singapore in conjunction with the Botanical Gardens.
- Exhibition for the Year of Plant Health with the United Nations Helsinki
- The Manor Retrospective Fallen Times forth coming exhibition November 2020
Duchy Head Forester Chairman Action Oak
“Action Oak is supporting important research into the health of the UK’s native oak trees, which are facing numerous threats due to climate change and multiple pests and diseases. Adrian’s stunning photographs capture the majesty of these iconic trees.”
Chairperson of the International Steering Committee for the International Year of Plant Health United Nations
“Trees have for millennia influenced humankind; our traditions, our culture and our way of life. Adrian Houston’s photographs capture, like no other exhibition, the beauty and mystery of trees and their role in our life. To protect trees against exotic pests and diseases means also protecting our lives and traditions.”
MBE VMH Head of Arboretum Kew Gardens
“As a tree practitioner and tree lover I enjoy seeing and meeting special trees in gardens and in their natural settings like a woodland and this is one of the many reasons for spending a lifetime working with them. The next best thing is seeing a good image that captures the natural beauty of a good specimen, old or young, common or rare, and there are few photographers that can do that well. Adrian is one of these photographers that can see the potential and seizes the moment to capture that beauty at any time of the day or night and I have yet to see him fail to please.”