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"Corby & Migration"

2017 Collaborative Exhibition

Corby & Migration (2017) - A collaborative project commissioned by Deep Roots Tall Trees with Amanda Drage, Warren Shaw, Matt Merritt and curated by Rosalind Stoddart. Sponsored by Arts Council England and The Woodland Trust.

In early 2017 I was commissioned by Northamptonshire arts organisation Deep Roots Tall Trees to create ten paintings of local bird species for "Corby & Migration", which was to form part of a larger project called "Changing Corby". "Corby & Migration" supported the launch of the Charter for Trees, Woods and People, and presented 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" reflected 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.

I painted a number of the most significant birds - migrants, species that thrive in Corby's woods, and ones that have declined. Ornithologist, journalist and poet Matt Merritt researched the local bird populations.


During September and October of 2017, the project was expanded to include Warren Shaw, an interdisciplinary sonic and visual artist.

Warren joined me to collaborate and respond to my work, and the songs of the birds I had painted.

Collectively, we kept a blog to record some of our research and working processes. You can read it here:



An end-of-project exhibition with all ten of my paintings, plus Warren's accompanying audio and visual responses, was held at the Rooftop Arts Centre in Corby, during October 2017. The exhibition was accompanied by a one-day workshop, where visitors could get involved in creating their own visual interpretations of the birdsongs. These were then hung on the gallery walls as part of the exhibition.

We also ran a fact-finding Treasure Hunt within Corby's urban woodlands close to the town centre. Groups of children from two local primary schools came along to have fun exploring the woodlands to find our bird signs, and learning about the birds along the way. After the Treasure Hunt the children visited the exhibition to listen to the bird songs, and created their own visual interpretations.

The Tree Charter was launched on 6th November, supported by national organisations including The Woodland Trust. 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 works to 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!

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