Saving Devon’s Treescapes
A Response to Ash Dieback
In 2020, Robert Darch was commissioned by the Saving Devon’s Treescapes project, led by Devon Wildlife Trust, to produce an artistic response to Ash Dieback in the county. The photographs displayed in ‘A Eulogy to Aesc (ash)’ form part of the collection, and capture the loss of some mature ash trees, as well as portraits of some of the many professionals working to manage and respond to the disease.
Ash is one of the most common trees in the UK; in Devon there are an estimated 1.9 million ash trees outside woodlands alone, lining the roadsides and in our hedgerows and parks. Ash dieback was first confirmed in the UK in 2012, since when it has spread to most parts of the country. The disease is caused by an air-borne fungus (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) and has the potential to cause significant damage to the UK’s ash population. This will have a dramatic visual impact on our landscapes and detrimental consequences for the wildlife dependent on those trees for shelter, nests, roosts, habitat connectivity and food.
This exhibition brings attention to the issue and invites everyone to become part of the solution – there are many and varied ways to get involved in Saving Devon’s Treescapes, from planting free trees, to creating your own artistic response to ash dieback, and helping to survey wildlife.
Robert’s exhibition will run alongside our annual sculpture studio show hosted in the front gallery space and Devon Open Studios, Artist Residency Watercolourist, Olya Baklan who will be setting up her studio in our basement gallery. All the exhibitions will launch on 8th September and we shall also be hosting Robert and members of Devon Wildlife Trust at a special evening event on 22nd September 6 – 8 pm, to hear from them about the project and from poets who will be performing their own works written in response to the works on display and the project.
Devon Open Studios runs from 9th – 24th September and during this time our opening days will be adjusted to see us opening on a Sunday. Our opening times are 11 am – 5 pm and we shall be closed on the following days: 11th, 13th, 18th and 19th.
Learn more: https://www.art-hub.co.uk/ex/dwt23