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New artwork displayed on Sidmouth Wall Space

By Philippa Davies

27th Sep 2021 | Local News

A collection of photos showing the same tree during the passing of the seasons is the current exhibition on the Sidmouth School of Art Wall Space.

The billboard at Port Royal has been turned into a display space for public art in a collaboration between Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub and the internationally known artist David Shrigley OBE, who lives in Branscombe; read more here.

The new display, called the Tree on the Hill, was produced by photographer Robert Darch.

As his website explains, Robert's work is motivated by the experience of place, in which the physical geography and material cultures of places merge with impressions from contemporary culture that equally influence perception.

'From these varied sources, both real and imagined, he constructs narratives that help contextualise a personal response to place.

How the exhibition came about

During the first lockdown in the spring of 2020, Robert began making cycling trips to the tree, which is on a hill overlooking Exeter.

He then decided to take a series of pictures of the tree, all from the same spot, to capture its appearance through the passing of the seasons.

The resulting display is part of a collaborative project with Sidmouth Photographic Club, focusing on people and place, and supported by The Box museum and art gallery in Plymouth.

It's designed to 'reflect a feeling of hope' and to provide 'a narrative of its time in its consideration of how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted on our notion of freedom'.

Robert is now working with the photographic club as part of the art project's aims 'to build condidence and skills and to ensure there is an educational or learning aspect to everything we do'.

He's sharing his knowledge through a series of workshops and providing mentoring feedback to a group of local photographers to develop their own projects, which will be exhibited on a new website currently being developed, and potentially on the billboard itself.

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