The Arborealists: Trees and Woodland on Exmoor and Dartmoor
The Arborealists are a group of professional artists inspired by the rich and versatile subject of the tree. In the new work this exhibition presents they respond to specific trees and woodland sites on Exmoor and Dartmoor.
COVID-19 has given new significance to their work. Lockdown meant that woodland and the countryside were inaccessible to many people. For others the natural world became a vital place for solace and reflection in a time of crisis.
Through their work the Arborealists seek to reconnect us to nature’s beauty and power. They also want to mobilise a largely urban population in the struggle against climate change.
Below are eleven sections exploring a different area of woodland on Exmoor and Dartmoor. Click through the galleries on each page to discover responses from more than 20 individual artists.
Contains an image: Curling leaves with a white and black outside and mottled brown inside lay curled on the forest floor. There is a high level of detail in the painting, with the veins of each leaf rendered perfectly in ink. Curling leaves with a white and black outside and mottled brown inside lay curled on the forest floor. There is a high level of detail in the painting, with the veins of each leaf rendered perfectly in ink.
Dramatic wooded coast with rare Whitebeam trees
Contains an image: An abstracted version of a forest made up of fern leaves and tumbling foliage in green and pink hues dominate the canvas. Dark brown trunks of trees are packed close together in the background of the image.
Horner Wood and Cloutsham
One of the largest and most beautiful ancient oak woods in Britain
Contains an image: The painting composition is dominated by a closely cropped dark black tree trunk with abundant interlacing branches and foliage. A path to its right is a deep shade of pink, with shadowy areas from where the trees’ branches overhang. This path leads to a simple wooden bench.
Landscaped woodland featuring the highest beech plantation in England
Contains an image: This acrylic painting is characterised by its use of Chiaroscuro - the strong contrast of light and shadow. Swirling abstract patterns, possibly representative of leaves and branches, are cast in a greenish white light set against pitch black to create an atmospheric image.
Wilmersham Common Winsford Hill
Heath-covered commons in the heart of Exmoor
Contains an image: A wide and solid looking tree trunk is topped by a mass of twisting branches of different shapes and sizes.
Woods on the fringe of the moor
Contains an image: A forest scene with a path running through its centre is depicted in an abstract form by the artist, with swirling applications of green and blue green evoking a densely packed canopy of leaves.
A fragmented ancient woodland
Contains an image: Old Friends is am immensely detailed black and white watercolour of the ancient Wistman’s Wood. Twisted and gnarly dark tree branches reach for the sky, while thinner branches with delicately rendered grey leaves extend in different directions. The forest floor is strewn with lichen covered boulders.
White Wood Holne Moor
The largest continuous stretch of woodland in Dartmoor
Contains an image: Atmospheric painting of tall thin tree trunks against a misty looking green sky
Extensive conifer plantation on the fringe of the moor
Contains an image: A triptych of images consists of intertwining bare branches in black, white and grey.
A long strip of ancient woodland
Contains an image:
Stumpy Oak Hawson Cross
An historic ancient pedunculate (English) oak tree
Contains an image: An abstracted tree and cross float against a white background
Pedunculate (English) oak woodland in the Erme Valley
Contains an image: Highly detailed portrait drawing of a single tree rendered in black against a white background
This exhibition was supported by