New Work: Palm Trees

Palm Trees

Stately, sculptural, timeless

Symbolic of exotic faraway places

Good times

And holidays spent in the sun

I LOVE palm trees.

Even as a child, I didn’t like snow and cold. Winter was just something to get through so you could spend summer on the beach again. I always dreamed of living “somewhere warm with palm trees”, and looking back, I think that dream began with my Dad’s pictures and stories from his exciting travels.

Back then in Sweden, all men had to do a year of military training, and my Dad was lucky enough to do part of his as a 5-month trip in 1959-1960 on board the ship HMS Älvsnabben, which took him to such exotic-sounding and fantasy-inducing places as Djibouti, Karachi, Madras, Mombasa and Rangoon. He always had a map of the route on the wall of his home office and used to tell the most amazing stories from the trip.


Luckily, he loved photography and had also documented it all on film.

My Dad's camera, slides and slide projector | Cattie Coyle Photography

I loved looking at those images. We used to hang a big white screen on the wall in the living room, my Dad would set up the projector and bring in the wooden boxes that held the slides. He loaded each tray and as we went through them looking at the pictures, he would tell us all these amazing stories and I watched and listened in awe.

I was absolutely fascinated by all these faraway places, so colorful and different from my everyday reality. And they were all warm and had palm trees. Life just seemed so much more exciting there and I dreamed about visiting them all one day.

All these years later, I still haven’t been to any of those places. And now I’m actually not sure I want to. In a way, I prefer to keep keep them as fantasies and go somewhere else “warm with palm trees”. We’ll see.

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