The Arborealists at Black Swan

TREES are so important in so many aspects of our lives, and a group of artists who celebrate every aspect of these amazing living things, has an exhibition at Frome’s Black Swan Arts from 21st July to 2nd September.

The Arborealists and Guests has a very special additional attraction, Paul Nash’s painting Pond in the Fields, which has not been seen in public for 70 years.

The exhibition will be a celebration of our relationship with trees through a variety of media and responses, looking at their historical and symbolic significance, but also considering how we identify with nature through them and some of the challenges they now face.

It  has work by 43 Arborealists and six guest artists, some of international reputation. Although united by their subject, they employ an extraordinary diverse range of working practices: scale, medium, philosophy, style and technique, but all demonstrating the deep relevance that trees have in contemporary art and their importance as a vital element in our landscape, lives and wellbeing.

Trees provide an endlessly versatile subject for artists, with their rich variety of character, form, texture and colour, and their significance in myth, folklore and religion.

In Britain trees have inspired artists for centuries, from Gainsborough and Constable through to the Pre-Raphaelites, the Neo-Romantics and the Ruralists. Paul Nash famously said he loved and worshipped trees and believed they were people.

The Arborealists were founded in 2013 by artist and curator Tim Craven following the seminal exhibition Under the Greenwood: Picturing the British Tree, at St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery, Lymington. The group is a loose association of some 60 professional artists of diverse art practice who share the subject of the tree. There are no rules and no subscription. Members live all over the country, from Wales and the borders to East Anglia and London and every southern county from Kent to Cornwall. They have had nine exhibitions in the UK and France with more planned as well as site-specific projects.

The guest artists at Black Swan will be Ashleaf of London, Gary Cook, Jennifer Newbury, Emma Tuck, Clive Walley and Jim Whitty.

Pictured: Millennium Hill by Tim Craven; Ebble Valley Oak by Howard Phipps.