There is a quiet moment when all manor of colours can be found in the hedgerows reflecting the intensive light and stormy skies. Then suddenly the harsh winter skeletons are replaced with a haze of spring green as the new leaves hurry to catch the warmth. Bird calls echo from tree to tree and across the fields as they search for nesting sites and forage for their young. The vibrant daffodils make way for lush greens, pinks and blues as food becomes more plentiful for emerging insects. There is a buzz in the air as fruit trees burst into bloom and the longer days entice us outside again to enjoy the countryside in this corner of England.
Such an emotional response must be captured and shared and it’s little wonder then that artists throughout time have been enthralled by their majestic forms. The new exhibition at Artichoke Gallery brings us right up to date, from intricate black and white prints by Sue Scullard to vibrant landscapes from Anne de Geus and Herme Bellido. Tim Pryke is outside capturing the local views throughout the year while Susie Monnington spends her time on the banks of the river Ouse. The ethereal beauty of works by Melanie Goemans and Louisa Crispin invite us to look closer.
But no exhibition about trees would be complete without the wildlife they support. In amongst the foliage searching for the birds is wildlife painter, Esther Tyson with her collection of sparrows, while Sue Brown develops her affinity with feathered garden visitors back in the studio. Kate Kato brings insects, faithfully reproduced in paper. Rusty metal features in Sarah Walton’s cast iron bird bath and David Mayne’s delicate sculptures. You’ll be forgiven for thinking there is a Kestrel in the Gallery, although not an exact replica, Simon Griffiths ceramic bird captures the essence of this beautiful bird. Jazmin Velasco-Moore takes us back to the life and times of the great painters with a contemporary twist. This is just a taster of the latest exhibition at Artichoke Gallery opening on 31st March.
Ticehurst falls within the High Weald area of outstanding natural beauty, a medieval landscape of wooded hills and ancient routeways. Believed to derive from Anglo Saxon “wood where the young goats feed”, Ticehurst is surrounded now by orchards and small fields edged with hedges, copses and magnificent standards. A trip to nearby Pashley Manor Gardens will reward you with a graceful old Oak, it’s ageing branches now supported, and thousands of bulbs planted for the tulip festival in April. A short drive brings you to Bedgebury National Pinetum, home to one of the Worlds finest conifer collections and beautiful woodland walks.
Whatever your plans, include a break in Ticehurst to see the delights “Beneath the Canopy” at Artichoke Gallery: Paintings, Sculpture, Ceramics and Jewellery inspired by our love of trees, birds and insects.