Scott Mead's photographs on permanent display at Emmanuel College, Cambridge

July 5, 2023

To celebrate the completion of a new building, Emmanuel College in Cambridge asked Scott to document their impressive Oriental Plane Tree. On completing the commission Scott said, "I have always enjoyed the company of trees and none more than the great Oriental Plane here at Emmanuel College. I first came across this very special tree soon after my arrival at Emmanuel in the late 1970s and have returned many times in all seasons and times of day, always with camera in tow. The tree has invariably offered a place of repose and reflection as well as a celebration of the beauty and wonders of nature. The Oriental Plane is located in the Fellows Garden at the college and is thought to have been planted in the early 1800s yet remains a unique and timeless resident."

"The tree always has something special to offer and it was therefore a welcome challenge to attempt to replicate some element of the visual and aesthetic experience which this magnificent tree brings to those who contemplate it. The three-dimensional, 360-degree immersive experience of the tree is very difficult to convey when flattened out by the two-dimensional reality of the camera and its resulting photographic effects. [...] While it is hard to imagine anything truly replicating the feelings of wonder and awe when within this tree’s vast reach, I hope this photographic effort of rendering three dimensions into two in different seasons and moods brings you some sense of its unique and positive presence and more broadly, the magic and marvel of nature."