"Monumental tree rubbings" weren't quite what Angela Lennon, the Curator of Peacock Visual Arts, was expecting when she commissioned Fiona Macdonald to put together an exhibition of her work at the Aberdeen gallery.

But there is something in these vast hangings that communicates a carefully explored relationship with nature. "Her new work is a real departure from what she was doing when I first saw it a few years ago in London," says Lennon. "Before, it was large, solid sculptural work - now it is large paper sculptures."

"I've always had an interest in nature and organic form," says Macdonald, speaking to me late one chilly April afternoon as she finalises her installation at Peacock. "But when I moved back to rural Kent in 2012 after having lived in London for a long time, the reality of coming back into daily contact with nature had a real impact on me. It made me rethink my practice."

After a year of "messing around" in the woods, Macdonald made a rubbing of a cut surface of a tree, "and there seemed to be an idea in this co-production - I hesitate to say collaboration - a way of meeting the wood through the making of the work. And that's been a key point for the rest of the project, which is very much ongoing."

Elsewhere in the exhibition there are drawings made with the 'collaboration' of animals, such as works made using the different soils that animals have dug up, and works on which the animals have, in seeking shelter or food, imprinted themselves.

But Macdonald's "monumental tree rubbings" are quite literally that. The artist wraps a tree meticulously in paper, right down to the visible roots and rubs over it, peeling off the result and reassembling it, hanging, in a gallery, rather like a shed skin. "There's a play between the 2D and the 3D," says Macdonald, who explains that some of the drawings are 3-to-4 metres across.

"I think perhaps sometimes you circle around things you are concerned with in different ways. I was always studio-based in London, but this is the first time I have made most of the work outside. The aesthetics are different, and managing how it functions, the practicality, the scale. Each work is defined literally by how far I can reach with the size of ladder I can carry. I have found that really exciting."

Fiona Macdonald: Woodland Portrait Project, Peacock Visual Arts, 21 Castle Street, Aberdeen (01224 639539, www.peacockvisualarts.com) until May 23, Tue-Sat, 9.30am- 5.30pm, (artist's talk, May 22, 6pm)