Trees Observed

An exhibition of artists’ perspectives on trees in celebration of the work of Oliver Rackham OBE (1939-2015) and the Woodland Trust.

21 September - 28 October 2018

"Oliver’s work has had a profound influence on our understanding of trees and woodland as places where history and ecology, human influence and natural forces have combined and interacted to create complex and continuously fascinating places." Mike Townsend, Principal Advisor, Woodland Trust

Twelve artists, one subject -  trees and woodland : an exhibition devised to celebrate the life and legacy of  Oliver Rackham and to support the work of the Woodland Trust.  All works are for sale and a percentage of sale proceeds will be given to the Woodland Trust as a contribution to work they continue in Oliver’s memory.

Oliver Rackham was the leading historian and ecologist of British woods as well as a fellow and master at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He spent many years researching the history and ecology of ancient woods and the remarkable adaptability of trees, which allowed him to write with extensive knowledge and insight, bringing the history of woods to life. In 1986, he decided to write a number of distinct volumes on the ancient woods of Britain. Although only one was published, he worked on several others including The Woods of the Helford River, Cornwall. Sadly it was not quite completed and remained unpublished at the time of his death in 2015. The Woodland Trust has been working closely with Corpus Christi College to finish and publish the book, so that Oliver’s outstanding knowledge can be passed on to future generations. 

Exhibited works are drawn from different disciplines and demonstrate distinct visual responses to trees and woodland: all however are conceived by artists for whom this subject has been a central concern. David Nash’s massed charcoal rendering of the ‘giz’ of old lime trees; a pine cone minutely observed in pencil and then transformed into chased silver by Michael Lloyd; Paul Hart’s acutely observed photographs of trees edging the industrial farmlands of the fens; an oak log elegantly realized as a dramatic black seat by Jim Partridge and Liz Walmsley. Printmaking, drawing, engraving and tapestry are all explored as the means to capturing the experience of trees and their continuing presence in our twenty-first century lives.  

All works will be for sale and a percentage of sale proceeds will be given to the Woodland Trust to support the work they continue in Oliver’s memory.  


Norman Ackroyd – Etchings and Aquatint; Malcolm Appleby – Engraved Silver; Lotte Attwood – Black and White Photography; Wilhlemina Barns-Graham (1912-2004) – Drawing; Sara Brennan  - Drawings and Tapestry; Buckmaster and French – Etchings;  Paul Hart – Black and White Photography; Michael Lloyd – Drawings and Chased and Handraised Silver Vessels;  Garry Fabian-Miller – Photograms; David Nash – Drawings; Jim Partridge and Liz Walmsley – Furniture/Wood ; James Ravilious (1939-1999) – Photographs of the work of Jim Partridge in woodland in the late 1980s.