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Exhibition:The Arborealists and Lady Park Wood in the Wye Val at Nelson Museum & Local History Centre

  • Visit Wales VAQAS

Exhibition, free entry


Artists in Lady Park Wood

Artists in Lady Park Wood

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Priory Street,
NP25 3XA


Sue Miles


Last year, to coincide with the Wye River Festival’s theme of Woods and Trees, Monmouth Museum hosted a small taster exhibition of the work made by a group of artists, The Arborealists, that featured some studies and preliminary works that they had made in Lady Park Wood, in the Wye Valley.

Now the full exhibition featuring further works that the group produced from their time in Lady Park Wood has come to fruition and opened in Monmouth Museum where it can be seen until June 2020.

What makes Lady Park Wood different from other Wye Valley woodlands is that it has been preserved, for over 70 years, as completely unmanaged woodland. It was set aside in 1944 to study how natural woodlands develop. Monitoring has proved them to be unstable places. Every so often, their progress towards towering stands of great trees is set back by natural disturbances - like elm disease in 1971 or the great drought of 1976 - in a constant game of snakes and ladders. As trees get larger and older they become less stable, so many have toppled, creating great gaps in the canopy and piling up dead wood to levels comparable with primaeval forests.

In 2016, George Peterken OBE, forester, ecologist and author, invited The Arborealists to interpret Lady Park Wood from an artist’s perspective - the group’s first site specific project. A film was made while they were working there, which can be seen in the Museum, that documents their ideas and reactions, and the exhibition shows the results, by turn dramatic and contemplative, expressive, abstracted, hyperreal and Surreal. They demonstrate that trees still have a strong relevance in contemporary art and retain their power to move us as a vital element in our landscape.

Trees provide a wonderfully versatile subject for artists, not only in terms of the rich variety of form, texture and colour they provide, whether individually or collectively, but also through the wealth of association - myth, folklore, religious and symbolic significance, that they have come to embody over many centuries.

The Arborealists are a loose association of some 60 professional artists who share the subject of the tree. Founded in 2013 by artist and curator Tim Craven, there are no rules and no subscription. Although united by their subject, they employ a wide range of working practices in scale, medium, philosophy, style and technique. Most of the work in the exhibition is also for sale, and can be removed and will be refreshed in December.

Opening details

The exhibition runs until Sunday 30 June 2020.

Open 11 – 4 (Closed Wednesdays)


Free entry




See location of Nelson Museum and Local History Centre on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: SO 507129  Lat: 51.81254 Long: -2.71652

Monmouth is on the A40

Parking: with charge

Accessible by Public Transport: 15 miles from Abergavenny station


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