17th April 2018

DIGITAL ARTIST OF THE DAY: Blossom, Haikus, and Beauty – Frank Abbott teaches us to appreciate imperfection

By Festival Ambassador Milly Ziethen.






Frank Abbott, a filmmaker since 1977, presents an unusual project at Leeds Digital Festival 2018 as part of the Digital Art Exhibition by CuratorSpace. The work, When this tree blossoms, is a film made in the form of a short haiku (or three-line poem). He undertook the project in the midst of winter, while the tree was bare. The short film is meant as an invitation for people to visit the tree as it begins to blossom. According to Abbot, the work is a means ‘to use the digital medium to send people back to nature – or reality.’


When the tree blossoms

we will meet

and talk about the future


On Sunday 22nd April, you are welcome to meet the artist and many more at the tree in Christ Church Gardens in Nottingham (Ilkeston Road, NG7 3GS) in an open discussion about the future – or whatever springs to mind in the moment. Abbott welcomes everyone to have a look how the tree has changed, you can even view it online here.


The work is a contribution to the Performing The Future project co-ordinated by Rachel Jacobs. You can catch the Making of… film by Roger Suckling is also available here on Vimeo.  


Daily life is the focus of Abbotts artwork. With gentle humour he wants to make us appreciate what happens around us. He wants to show us the beauty of simple things – like a tree that is beginning to bloom.


What does a picture need to be perfect? ‘You just know when you got it right,’ he replies. ‘The imperfection is the perfection – when you catch a moment that is ephemeral, like a box that is falling over’.


We need to stop looking constantly at our phone screens while walking through the streets or waiting for the train, and start looking around us to find the beauty in little things and appreciating the world we build around us.


And for those of you who were desperate to find out: Abbott’s superpower would be flying, so he can get home earlier when its cold outside – I guess we all can understand that feeling of cold feet while walking through the snow. Some things are made to be appreciated for a shorter time than others! 😉

By Festival Ambassador Milly Ziethen.

Frank Abbott’s ‘When this tree blossoms’ can be viewed at Bruntwood Office Space Platform, New Station Street Leeds, as part of the Leeds Digital Festival 2018 from 16th – 27th April.