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New exhibition celebrates Derbyshire’s trees


Trees should be treasured. They clean the air we breathe, improve our wellbeing, and provide food and shelter for wildlife.

This is the inspiration behind a new art exhibition, 'Treasuring Trees', opening at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery on 19 February.

Three artists – Sarah EA Parkin, Gordon MacLellan, and Valerie Dalling – have joined forces to celebrate some of Derbyshire's most beautiful and awe-inspiring trees, and to raise awareness of their importance.

The three artists have worked individually, together and with the community, drawing inspiration from history, landscapes and local people. Their work creates a reminder of the presence of those trees in our lives – and a warning of what we might lose.

Across Derbyshire – from tree-crowned Lows and Tors and ravine woodlands, to nature-reclaimed quarries and green spaces in towns – trees have been an important aspect of people's lives for centuries.

Trees have inspired the names of many towns, villages and places across the – relating either to individual trees that were significant in some way, groups of trees, or woodlands. It's believed that Matlock's name comes from the Old English 'moot-oak', meaning 'oak tree where meetings are held'. Derwent may mean 'valley of oaks', and Ashbourne means 'stream where the ash trees grow'.

Entangled Dancers, Hawthorns, Sarah EA Parkin (detail)

One unique aspect of the 'Treasuring Trees' exhibition is the use of information from location app what3words alongside each exhibit. This will enable visitors to locate the living trees in a 'tree treasure hunt', allowing them to see for themselves the trees that inspired the artworks.

Some of the pictures will be sold off at the end of the exhibition, with proceeds going to support Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and other environmental campaigns and organisations.

For more information see, @TreasuringTrees on Twitter, or @celebratingDerbyshireTrees on Instagram.

Sarah EA Parkin is a watercolour painter depicting Derbyshire Dales landscapes with trees and highlighting areas on the point of change.

Gordon MacLellan is a poet, storyteller and puppeteer. Drawing together personal work and community projects, Gordon's work reflects emotional responses to Ash Dieback and the changing woodland landscape.

Valerie Dalling is a Peak District photographer who has looked at birch trees in the National Park. Focusing on community health and wellbeing, her leisurely reflective approach aims to encourage a deeper appreciation of the landscape.

Follow the artists on social media: