Calls to boost biodiversity in National Parks the focus of powerful photography exhibition at Oriel y Parc
A thought-provoking photography exhibition that asks what can be done to restore healthy ecosystems and wilder landscapes to the UK’s National Parks, will be on dis-play at Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre in St Davids from 10 July 2021.
A thought-provoking photography exhibition that asks what can be done to restore healthy ecosystems and wilder landscapes to the UK’s National Parks, will be on display at Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre in St Davids from 10 July 2021.
In this adaptation of his touring exhibition Land/Sea, facilitated by Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, Pembrokeshire artist Mike Perry turns his lens to society’s broken relationship with the natural world and challenges conventional ways of seeing our coastline and countryside.
His work sheds a different light on the images of National Parks we are used to seeing in brochures or paintings and sparks a conversation about how to restore healthy ecosystems and bring back wilder landscapes.
National Park Authority Chairman, Cllr Paul Harries said: “This exhibition poses important questions and sheds light on some of the biggest challenges organisations such as the Park Authority are trying to address as part of its response to the climate emergency.
“Though great strides have been taken through various conservation projects such as Conserving the Park and Stitch in Time, the variety of issues highlighted in these images show that each and every one of us can take steps to ensure treasured landscapes such as our National Parks are safeguarded for future generations.”
Eleri Lynn, Head of Exhibitions and International Touring for AC-NMW said: “We have a responsibility to explore the challenges facing society in the exhibitions we present. Working with Mike Perry, Oriel y Parc and Ffotogallery on Land/Sea, we have done just that.”
Mike Perry said: “My work attempts to challenge how we look at and interpret the land around us, exposing the myths and conflicts of what is happening in the environment on our doorsteps – you don’t have to go to the Arctic to see the changes affecting all of us.”
Director of Ffotogallery, David Drake said: “I’m delighted that this important and timely exhibition is being shown in St Davids at a time when issues of environmental responsibility and sustainable management of the United Kingdom’s landscapes and marine ecosystems are pressing concerns for current and future generations.”
Land/Sea includes highly forensic photographs of found plastic detritus from Cuba to West Wales. Reshaped by nature into both beautiful yet toxic forms, these works show how plastic is changing our geology and entering our ecosystems both in the sea and on land. Alongside these ‘micro landscapes’ are large scale landscape photographs that echo romantic paintings of the sublime, although Perry’s works suggest we now fear what we have done to nature rather than nature itself.
For this exhibition, Perry has made several new works in the Pembrokeshire National Park, including: Ash Dieback 2020, a melancholic reminder of the ‘other pandemic’ sweeping the British countryside, Gwrych Dryslyd (Hedgerow Confusion) 2020, a photo montage pointing to the impacts of climate change on our native trees, Flailed Hawthorn 2020 that alludes to a farming culture that wants to tidy up nature rather than let it flourish, Burnt Fertilizer Bags (Red, White & Blue) 2019, an iconic heart shaped politically loaded lump of congealed plastic and Common Land 2020, a scene from an ‘idyllic’ picnic spot in the Preseli Hills which the artist suggests may simply be worn out industrial land.
Land/Sea, which will be on display until 16 January 2022, is a Ffotogallery Touring Exhibition originally conceived by David Drake, Director of Ffotogallery, and Ben Borthwick.
Oriel y Parc Gallery is owned and managed by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, working in partnership with AC-NMW.
For more information about the exhibition please visit www.orielyparc.co.uk/land-sea.