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Huge drawings of oaks to go on display

Posted onPosted on 30th Jan

Huge drawings of some of the most important ancient oaks in Great Britain will feature in a new exhibition by Mark Frith at the Harley

Mark Frith: Ancient Oaks will be on show at the Harley Foundation, Welbeck, from 20th April until 14th July.

The free entry exhibition shows 10 detailed pencil drawings, up to 1.5m wide.

At the age of 60, Mark began his ambitious project to draw 20 of the most important oak trees in Britain.

Inspired by a childhood immersed in countryside and woodland, his first portrait was of the Great Oak at Nibley Green, a tree he had explored as a child. This tree portrait took him two months to complete, with the final drawing measuring in at a huge 1.5m wide.

For the next four years, Frith travelled the length and breadth of Britain to capture the character of each tree, rendering buds, bark, and branches.

The drawings have been loaned by the Heart of England Forest Trust and were last exhibited six years ago.

A highlight of the exhibition is a depiction of Edwinstowe’s Major Oak.

Lisa Gee, director of the Harley Foundation, said “This exhibition is a testament to our deep connection with trees. From woodland walks to off-grid staycations, our fascination with trees extends beyond childhood tales of enchanted forests.

“Ash dieback and the recent vandalism of the sycamore gap tree show how much trees matter to us. Mark’s drawings express his profound connection with trees, a connection I believe we can all relate to.”

Mark Frith: Ancient Oaks is one of four new contemporary exhibitions at the Harley Foundation exploring trees and woodland. Other exhibitions include photography by Paul Hart, paintings by Anthony Whishaw RA, and glass by Effie Burns.