Jonathan McCree

Current Collection

Once a year, usually in early September, I catch two trains from my home in 

East Dulwich and travel to Richmond Park, where I photograph an oak tree.


The first time I photographed this tree, was in 2003. At the time, I had no plans to return, I thought I might find similar but alternative trees, elsewhere. But the following year, having searched in vain for a second tree, to compliment the first, I 'gave in' and 'went back' to Richmond. Why the reluctance? Perhaps I was in search of variety, I wanted a group of trees, not just the one. However, as I worked with the images of that proceeding year, I began to discover the variations I was looking for. They were there in this singular tree; a branch grown longer or bushier, another missing completely, different yet somehow the same.


Thus began my annual visits, to the same spot in Richmond Park and the gradual unfolding of what has become an extended body of work. Over what is now 10 years, I have enjoyed documenting the slow growth and change of a tree, which is after all, a very English symbol of stability and permanence. The continuity of subject has also allowed me to make some interesting observations upon my own art making practice.

From a palette originally restricted to white and tentatively red and yellow, I now use oranges, pinks, blues and greens. The painted surface, onto which I print, has become more involved and elaborate and fairly early on, I introduced texture by pressing leaves into layers of paint.


Printing on a large scale, using silver gelatin in a darkroom, is inevitably a hit and miss approach and there was a period, when I found it useful to strive for perfection in the printing. More recently however, I have reversed this again and aim for uncertainty and spontaneity.

When I first started in 2003, all my photographs were taken using 35mm black and white film, now I use a digital camera and in a strange reversal of 'progress', I have digital files made into film negatives, to allow me to continue printing in a darkroom.


My changing use of titles also marks a curious transition of interests. From the simple, almost labeling of 'White Oak' or 'Red Richmond Oak' of 2003/4 to the more narrative 'Autumn's Eve' of 2006 and the tangential 'Future's Shadow' from 2011.


To me this project has become about observing a very slow process of change, both in my subject and in my own responses to that subject.

Photography, seems to me to be the ideal medium for these observations, it allows me to stand back and be objective. By working with paint, both underneath and over the top of a print, I am also able to register a more subjective set of responses.


Jonathan McCree 2013.

Selected Solo Exhibitions 

2013 - Once a year, Northcote Gallery, London
2013 - No Ground Under My Feet Tavoletto Chapel, Turin, Italy
2012 - Abracadabra Northcote Gallery, London
2012 - Falling Into Place In collaboration with Gretchen Schiller and Helen Paris. 
Universite Stendhal Grenoble, Grenoble, France
2011 - Days On End In collaboration with Paul Statham, The Caroline Gardens Chapel, London
2009 - Mad Jack Folly Northcote Gallery, London
2008 - Modern Landscapes Westbrook Gallery, London
2008 - Gravity and Grace Northcote Gallery, London
2006 - The Unknown Craftsman Northcote Gallery, London
2005 - Solomon Gallery, Dublin
2003 - Abstract To Real: Paintings of County Mayo Clarke Galleries, Vermont, USA
2003 - Lars Bolander, Palm Beach, USA
2002 - The Artis Group Gallery, Palm Beach, USA
2000 - BBB Contemporary Art, London
2000 - Homestead Art Centre, Florida, USA
1999 - Grosvenor Gallery, London
1993 - Hartleys Jam Factory, London

Selected Group Exhibitions 

2011 - Art Hamptons, USA, Northcote Gallery
2010 - Art London, Northcote Gallery
2009 - London Art Fair 2009, Westbrook Gallery
2006 - Westbrook Gallery, London
2006 - Solomon Gallery, Dublin
2005 - Northcote Gallery, London
2005 - Solomon Gallery, Dublin
2004 - Palm Beach Fine Art Fair, USA
2004 - Boston International Fine Art Fair, USA
2004 - Art Miami International Fine Art Fair, USA
2001 - Grosvenor Gallery, London
1999 - David Tunkl Fine Art, Los Angeles
1997 - David Tunkl Fine Art, Los Angeles
1996 / 95 / 94 - Blains Fine Art, London