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‘Living with Trees’ – Helen Johnson Artist


Since David Attenborough first aired his ‘Blue Planet 2’ documentary showing the horrifying truth about plastics in our oceans and the environment, there has been a lot of talk about change.  That was in September 2017.  Two years on, whilst supermarkets are being pressured to reduce their plastic packaging from a more aware public, the reality of the weekly shop is that it is still incredibly difficult to avoid purchasing items in plastic.  Fruit and vegetables still come in unnecessary packaging, toiletries and cleaning products are almost impossible to source without plastic and there is still, according to Attenborough, 8 million tons of plastic per year entering the Earth’s oceans.

Life in the beautiful and breath-taking landscapes of the Lake District and Cumbria seems a long way away from all this.

The Red Squirrel is an iconic symbol of Britishness and serious efforts have been made in recent years to save it from extinction, with success in Cumbria, North Yorkshire, Northumberland and Scotland.  We have worked hard and sometimes ruthlessly to prevent the Grey Squirrel from eradicating the Red and yet contradictorily, we are indirectly damaging our own heritage by the way in which we cohabit.

Trees have been identified as a possible saviour to our Climate Change catastrophe and yet our relationship with plastic continues to put all of the natural environment at risk.

My art work, by using single use/ non-recyclable plastic, collected from my inability to remove it from my life completely, aims to ask the viewer to consider what lies beneath the beauty of the environment (on in the case of my images, on the surface).

10% of all profits made by the artist from this exhibition will go to The Woodland Trust, to help them continue the great work they do for woodland and those that live within it. www.woodlandtrust.org.uk


This exhibition will be held within the Fitz Park Gallery and is free.

Trees on South Tyne by Helen Johnson

All day

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