Rosalind Orlando, Oenone Paris, Angelica Medora

The tender practice of lovers carving their names on trees has a long literary history, celebrated here. By inscribing the names of famous lovers in literature on finely made ceramic plaques, the practice is elevated to monumental status.

Rosalind and Orlando are the lovers in Shakespeare’s As You Like It ; the love story of the nymph Oenone and the Trojan prince Paris is told in Ovid’s Heroides; the princess Angelica was the beloved of Orlando, hero of Ariosto’s romantic epic poem Orlando Furioso. She rejected him and ran off with a humble soldier, Medoro, hiding in the woods together. When Orlando found their names cut into the trees he was driven mad.

Tree plaques, ceramic, David Ballantyne, c. 1980