The eight paintings of birds shown above form part of a group of ten paintings in total, that I have been commissioned to paint by Northamptonshire arts organisation Deep Roots Tall Trees for the "Corby and Migration" project. This project is in support of the launch of the Charter for Trees, Woods and People, and is an exciting opportunity for me to paint and learn about the birds that pass through the woodlands in my current home town of Corby, Northamptonshire.
"Corby and Migration" is reflecting on the importance of the urban woodlands in Corby (and in fact all our woodlands), by looking at the birds that pass through them, and the fluctuating populations of species. Ornithologist journalist and poet Matt Merritt has been researching the local bird populations, and I have been painting a number of the most significant birds - migrants, species that thrive in Corby's woods, and ones that have declined.
During September and October of 2017, this project will be further developed, with interdisciplinary sonic and visual artist Warren Shaw joining me to collaborate and respond to my work, and the songs of the birds I have painted. www.warrenshaw.net
An end-of-project exhibition with all ten of my paintings, plus Warren's accompanying audio and visual responses, will be held at the Rooftop Arts Centre in Corby, Weds 18th - Sun 28th October. (Open Wednesdays to Saturdays, 11am-4pm.)
In addition to this, on the Sunday 22nd October myself and Warren will be holding a workshop at the Rooftop Arts Centre, in which you can get involved in creating your own visual interpretations of the birdsongs to hang on the gallery walls. There will also be a Treasure Hunt starting at the Rooftop and going into the nearby urban woodlands to find my painting images, complete a fact sheet and learn about the birds on the way... with prizes to be won!
The Tree Charter will be launched on 6th November, and is supported by national organisations including The Woodland Trust, Plantlife, Butterfly Conservation, RSPB, WWF and many others. The Charter principles include supporting environmentally and economically sustainable planting in a rapidly growing population - encouraging planning regulations to "make room for trees" in developing urban spaces. The Charter will also promote better management of our existing woodlands, and stronger legislation to protect our ancient woodlands that are under threat - as well as preserving habitats of our native wildlife and plants that depend on our woods. Overall, the Charter believes that the importance of trees and woodlands, and their benefits to us, should be recognised and celebrated and should not be taken for granted!
You can read updates on our Blog, corbymig.blogspot.co.uk to which all of us are contributing as the project develops.
Follow Deep Roots Tall Trees on Twitter for daily snippets of info & my images, in the weeks leading up to our exhibition.
To support the Tree Charter please do go to treecharter.uk and add your signature to the charter to stand up for our trees!