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Messums has been a feature on London’s Cork Street since 1963, but the gallery’s Wiltshire outpost is a relatively recent addition to the brand’s artistic stable. It opened at the end of last year in a restored 13th-century monastic barn in the village of Tisbury, and its latest exhibition, Material: Wood (August 11-September 3), is a showcase not only of the designers, makers, artists and artisans who are working with wood today, but also of the diversity of the material itself.
Beech and ash are individually represented in a series of ethereal etchings (£320-£1,200 each) by artists Emma Buckmaster and Janet French, with each image printed on paper made from the leaves of the tree they depict. (The paper was made by soaking and boiling autumn leaves until they meshed together to form a delicate layer.)
Fraxinus Excelsior etching on ash leaves, edition of 10, by Emma Buckmaster & Janet French, £1,10
“As a country, we produce some of the best quality and greatest variety of woods and some of the most forward-thinking and creative minds working with it,” says Messum. This quietly beautiful exhibition proves him right.
Resurgence and Ecologist
Ash armageddon threatens 70 million British trees
5th October, 2017
Ecologist Arts Editor, GARY COOK, discusses a new exhibition focused on the plight of British Ash - a home for over 1000 other species
A new exhibition
To draw attention to the plight of the ash, an exhibition celebrating the tree by 11 nationally-known artists and photographers will be held at the Springhead Trust in Dorset from 10-15 October. The rural centre for creative and sustainable living was established by the family of acclaimed conductor John Eliot Gardiner whose father was a founding member of the Soil Association. The show is a central plank of the AshScape Project, the brainchild of photographer and author Edward Parker, and highlights the tree's importance to civilisation over the millennia.
On show will be the collaboration of Emma Buckmaster and Janet French, members of the highly respected Arborealist group, who produce delicate etchings of trees printed on paper made from the trees' foliage. Emma and Janet reveal their process: "The leaves are collected and after slowly soaking and boiling them, delicate sheets of paper are created using only the natural constituents of the leaves to bind them together. Whilst the paper is still damp the etched image is printed on to the leaves from a steel plate using a traditional etching press."