Art Gallery

Nature’s unsung heroes on display at Fen Ditton art gallery

This November Fen Ditton Gallery hosts the third and final exhibition of its annual Art and Environment series, Art, Science and the Natural World which, opens on 18th November and explores the impact of environmental change on UK flora and fauna. 

The exhibition, which runs until Sunday November 27th is free to attend and showcases works by three artists Sarah Gillespie; Rebecca Jewell and Esther Tyson who have recently completed an invited artists’ residency at the Cambridge Conservation initiative (CCI).

Sarah Gillespie’s detailed, monochrome mezzotints celebrate one of the UK’s most elusive insects, the moth. The artist reminds us that moths, as with other insects, are in serious decline. “Since I began studying and drawing moths ten years ago, I have felt more and more aware of their importance and the need to record and draw attention to their fragile beauty.”

Rebecca Jewell has devoted her residency time to develop her ongoing study of seaweeds another, often less understood, element of Britain’s natural world. There are over 650 species in coastal waters. Her bold graphic nature prints in which inked specimens are placed on paper and then run through a press, reveal the huge diversity of these underwater marine algae and link to scientific research exploring the impact of warming seas, on biodiversity.  

Esther Tyson’s drawings and paintings celebrate Britain’s birdlife: known and loved by many although many formerly common species are now in decline. She has travelled the world studying and drawing birds in their natural environments working alongside scientists in organisations such as Birdlife International and the British Trust for Ornithologists.

The CCI, based in the David Attenborough Building in Cambridge works alongside environmental NGOs across the world to help tackle the impact of climate change on the natural world. CCI’s curator John Fanshawe said: “Enabling contemporary artists and scientists to collaborate and share new ways of expressing the crisis surrounding extinction, notably of less well-known species, is vital.”

Fen Ditton gallery is located close to the river Cam and often draws upon its idyllic location for the themes of its exhibitions. The gallery has run a series of successful exhibitions this year including its aptly titled ‘Rivers’ display which engaged with the protection of rivers in the UK. 

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