The Arborealists are an artist group founded by artist and curator Tim Craven in 2013. Tim’s intention was to bring together artists who used trees and woodland/forest landscapes as the particular focus of their practice and create opportunities to exhibit work together. An exhibition of several artists work is sometimes a more interesting prospect than a solo artists exhibition due to the variety in approach and mediums displayed. I’ve been following the work of The Arborealists since around 2014 when I finished my MA. I was introduced to the work of Blaze Cyan, a member of the group through Louise Pallister (a Twitter friend) and met Blaze when I went to London to see Louise and Blaze’s work at their final MA exhibition at City and Guilds.
In September last year I emailed Tim Craven and expressed interest in the group, Tim was gracious and said that although all the member slots were filled he would keep me in mind for any opportunities where I might be able to exhibit as a guest. In April I received an email from Tim asking if I’d like to exhibit as a guest with the group at The Turbine House which is part of Reading Museum. I agreed wholeheartedly and set to work making a new drawing to exhibit. It wasn’t easy but I managed to fit drawing in around looking after my baby son, who was just over two months when I first started work on my piece ‘Woodland Study VI’.
June rolled around, I’d finished my drawing and organised framing. I took my piece to the Turbine House where I met Tim and some of the participating artists. The venue itself was full of character, situated on the banks of the River Kennet with river views from each of the square framed windows. I returned to The Turbine House the following evening for the private view, Tim’s curation of the show was wonderful. Large colourful paintings were given plenty of room while smaller more monochromatic works were placed together. It was a joy to see work in person by Paul Newman whom I’ve followed online for some time as well as Buckmaster/French whose work I’d seen at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. A personal favourite was the pencil drawing by Celia de Serra, she captured beautiful light and shadow of a forest trail that mentally transported me to a secluded woodland spot.
A familiar face at the exhibition was Peter Driver, an artist who I met while studying at Winchester School of Art. Peter had his piece ‘Eleven Of The Seventy-Seven Drawings Made At Two Mile Intervals Walking Between Winchester and Salisbury’ on display.
It was a real thrill to see my piece alongside work by accomplished artists and in such a characterful gallery space too. My thanks go to Tim Craven, The Arborealists and guests and the Reading Tree Wardens who invited The Arborealists to exhibit in Reading and invigilated the exhibition.
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