First joint exhibition between two North York Moors photographers celebrates the wonder of woodland
23 June 2022
This summer will see the beauty, mysteries and restorative benefits of woodland celebrated through a major exhibition of work by two acclaimed local photographers at the Inspired by… gallery in Danby Lodge as part of the North York Moors National Park’s 70th anniversary.
Renowned photographers Simon Baxter and Joe Cornish have joined forces for the first time to exhibit a selection of their images, representing six years of photographing trees in the North York Moors National Park, for the exhibition entitled: A Woodland Sanctuary, which begins on 16 July and runs until 10 September.
Visitors will be able to see how both photographers have focused their lenses according to themes including Chaos, reflecting the reality of woodland; and Dark Matter which echoes the more melancholy, destructive elements within a forest setting such as native trees being crowded out by invasive non-native species.
The gallery will also be displaying 70 special edition unframed small works as part of the National Park’s platinum anniversary.
To complement the exhibition, both artists, for whom woodland has long been a source of inspiration, a therapeutic environment and a place to really feel connected with the natural world, have lined-up a series of events throughout July and August to talk about their passion and share insights on photographing trees.
As well as talks by Simon and Joe, the programme features guest speakers Lucy Lapwing, the self-taught naturalist, BBC Springwatch researcher and occasional presenter, and talented photographers Sean Tucker, David Ward and Mark Littlejohn. In August visitors will also be able to create a charcoal artwork based on observations from the exhibition with the help of artist Peter Reynolds.
Echoing the thoughts of many people who have found the positive impact of spending time surrounded by trees, particularly since the pandemic, Simon explains: “Discovering the therapeutic benefits of exploring and photographing local woodland has been a profound and life-changing experience. The North York Moors are home to some beautiful pockets of woodland, each of them offering a sense of mystery, wonder, and stories waiting to be told.
“Making sense of visual complexity, soaking up the atmosphere, breathing in the smells, and admiring the wildlife is both deeply immersive and restorative. I hope that visitors of our exhibition will get a sense of our privileged experiences in woodland and the joy of spending creative time with trees."
"People find their own message and meaning when they view pictures in an exhibition, but it isn’t hard to relate to trees. As well as being a natural shelter, woodland has an inner world that feeds our imagination. Every tree is unique yet there’s a community of connection between trees that has so much to teach us.
“It’s a privilege to explore the woodland there is in the North York Moors, and to share the artistic and photographic joy of being amongst trees on our back doorstep."
The exhibition is open daily from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Head to the 'planning your visit' webpage for details on how to get to the Inspired by... gallery in Danby.
A Woodland Sanctuary is free to attend, but some of the special programme events are ticketed and need to be pre-booked. For more information and booking details see www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/awoodlandsanctuary
Amanda Brown on M:
Communications Officer, North York Moors National Park Authority
The North York Moors National Park
The North York Moors is a beautiful landscape of stunning moorland, ancient woodland and historic sites. Celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2022, it was created on 28 November 1952 and became Britain’s sixth national park. Covering an area of 554 square miles (1,436 square kilometres) the National Park has 26 miles of coastline, two national nature reserves, 840 Scheduled Monuments and over 3,000 listed buildings, attracting an estimated 8.4 million visitors a year.
The National Park has two visitor centres, Danby Lodge National Park Centre and Sutton Bank National Park Centre, providing opportunities for cycling, walking, eating, picnicking, shopping, crafts and wildlife-watching. The centre in Danby also houses the Inspired by… gallery, which features regularly changing exhibitions by artists who draw their inspiration from the North York Moors.
The North York Moors National Park Authority works with a wide variety of people to care for this beautiful corner of Yorkshire, providing apprenticeships and volunteering opportunities with nearly 14% of staff being apprentices from local families.
To view other press releases and for further information about the North York Moors National Park, visit www.northyorkmoors.org.uk
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