Recently I came across an art project called Project Roots which resonated with me so much I wanted to share more here on the blog. Visual artist Camille Deniau captures the comfort, energy and grounding presence of trees in a very special, personalised art style. For Expater family or friends like me, her paper etchings, prints and glass paintings make wonderful gifts.
Or alternatively you can enter my Instagram giveaway here. (Edit – this giveaway is now closed but more giveaways are posted on a monthly basis, follow me on Instagram for more).
Her glass painting created a beautiful window into a world of mine. But first, let me take you back a bit…
Last year I made a disastrous attempt to move to Ecuador. Things didn’t go to plan so I escaped to my mother’s place in the UK. After our 36-hour journey homeward, my boys ran into her garden, scrambled up a tree and shrieked a giggle of relief.
The tree was an old favourite. Forget climbing frames and fancy theme parks, my kids were just happy to nestle in the comfort of its familiar branches.
I almost cried when I saw them so happy and free. Our moves abroad and the panic of the pandemic had taken their toll on us all, and the garden immediately became their safe refuge. As our temporary stay grew not so temporary after all, they clung to the branches throughout the seasons.
Personalised art with a difference
This particular tree holds a special place in their hearts, and mine too. Yet, I’ve noticed that all trees offer a sense of comfort for serial expats like my kids and me.
Visual artist Camille Deniau felt the same. Like my boys, she grew up in different countries. Scattering breadcrumbs of memories as she relocated from one place to the next, she never really felt grounded. Yet, surrounding herself by nature, and specifically trees, she could root herself to the present.
What appeases me is the majestic nature that surrounds us as if watching over us and the stability I feel when surrounded by trees, imagining their roots deep below. – Camille Deniau
Camille built on this energy to found Project Roots. Her glass paintings, etchings and prints convey the security, strength and energy of trees.
There are works to buy off the peg, but I had something extra special in mind. So I commissioned a personalised art piece, which arrived wrapped very snuggly… (she also delivers internationally)
My window to a calmer world
I sent Camille several photos of my kids in their ‘treehouse’, and from here she created a special window into our world.
I am so happy with my glass painting. It’s not just a piece of home; it’s a reminder to take time to appreciate my home, too.
The pandemic has taught me just how important nature and art is to me. After months cooped up in hotels, trapped in quarantines, I feel grateful for the simple pleasure of fresh air. I realise that in tough times, art can help heal my mood.
When I wake up in a stress, panicking about too much or too little work, my little personalised piece of art is a gentle reminder of the important things in life. It’s a quiet nudge that everything will be OK.
Home is more than a house
I look at my tree window and I feel grateful for my home. I may change house every year, but home is home. Home is a feeling which runs deeper than bricks and mortar. It’s a very special feeling, and I’m very grateful to Camille for reminding me of this so beautifully.
For a chance to win your own personalised, or readymade glass painting worth approx £100, head over to my Instagram giveaway contest*. Good luck!
Project Roots artworks start at £80 for a print, while bespoke glass paintings range from £110, depending on the size and complexity involved. Use code ‘EXPATER15’ for a 15% discount, valid until 15 July 2021. International shipping is available at an extra cost. projectrootsart.com
*Instagram giveaway terms and conditions:
UPDATE – THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED
This contest is open to residents aged 18 and over only.
This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook or Instagram.
International shipping by courier is included, excluding countries prohibited by the courier service or European law. The piece of art will be wrapped securely, but neither Project Roots or The Expater is responsible for any potential accidental damage in shipping. The winner is responsible for any potential local customs / taxation fees.
No purchase is necessary and does not increase the chances of winning.
Void where prohibited.
This prize is non transferable, non returnable and cannot be exchanged for a cash or services alternative.
The giveaway is not open to employees, contractors or immediate family members of The Expater or Project Roots.
The competition closes at midnight on Sunday 2 May 2021. The winner will be drawn at random.
The winner will be contacted by The Expater via Instagram Messenger and announced on The Expater blog on Monday 3 May 2021. If the winner is ineligible, or cannot be contacted, or does not reply within 5 working days from the time the notification was sent, the prize may be forfeited and an alternate winner selected.