The Arborealists were founded in 2013 by Tim Craven following the critically acclaimed exhibition, Under the Greenwood: Picturing the British Tree, staged at St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, Lymington, in the heart of the New Forest. The group is a loose association of 60 professional artists, some of international reputation, who share the rich and versatile subject of the tree. The aim of the group is to exhibit together and promote members’ work and their subject. There is no subscription and there are no rules. The principle dynamic of the group is diversity of art practice that encompasses a wide range of philosophy, media, style, scale and technique. The Arborealists have achieved a national profile and are based all over southern England including the Welsh borders, East Anglia and London and from every county from Kent to Cornwall, with outposts in Wales, Yorkshire, the Midlands, Ireland, France and Italy.
Described by The Telegraph as spellbinding, The Arborealists’ inaugural exhibition was staged at the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, in 2014, and this was followed by popular exhibitions attracting national press coverage at Mottisfont Abbey NT, Lymington, Gloucester, Westonbirt Arboretum, and London. In 2017 the group also exhibited overseas for the first time, in Poitiers, France. The Arborealists are inclusive and invite local, guest tree artists to show with them wherever they exhibit if possible. A lively programme of exhibitions and projects is planned for the future and to date include Monmouth, Frome, St Ives, Exmoor and Dartmoor, Loudun, France, and The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
Many of the group’s members share a passion for the ecology of trees and their significance in the conservation of our fragile, natural environment. 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 that includes a short film and 2 exhibitions at Monmouth Museum
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