News

Art Trail
30th June 2021

Art Trail brings sights and sounds to life at the Mosses

 

A team of artists has created an exciting new Art Trail exploring the special landscape and history at the Fenn’s, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses National Nature Reserve.  Launching on 3rd July 2021, the Art Trail will continue through Summer to the end of October with sculptures and soundscapes featuring recordings of wildlife, water and trees, poetry, history and memories of life on and around the peatbog.

 

The soundscapes and sculptures are part of the Mosses and Marshes art project led by artists Andrew Howe (UK) and Kim V. Goldsmith (AUS), working in partnership with Shropshire Wildlife Trust and Natural England, and supported by National Lottery funding from Arts Council England.

 

Artists Elizabeth Turner and Keith Ashford have produced a series of waymarking sculptures which look at wood and metal work measuring tools and their connection with the Mosses landscape.   The two sculptors and Andrew Howe will be at Whixall Moss on Saturday 11am to 3pm to talk to visitors about their artworks.

 

Andrew says “We hope that the artworks will encourage visitors to think about how we value these natural environments. The sound trail will connect two internationally significant wetlands by bringing sounds from the Macquarie Marshes, New South Wales, Australia into the Fenn’s and Whixall Mosses. 

 

“We are very grateful to Natural England and Shropshire Wildlife Trust for their assistance; and to Stephen Barlow for ecological advice and contributing some of the bird recordings” Andrew says.

 

To avoid disturbance to wildlife, the immersive soundscapes are designed to be experienced by walking in the landscape and listening with headphones via smartphone using the Echoes app.  The sounds are triggered by participants as they walk through specific locations along the trail.

 

The soundscapes, edited by Andrew Howe and/or Kim V. Goldsmith, are arranged into categories of earth, water, fire and air.  They will include poetry from Gladys Mary Coles, Emily Meredith and Gertie Bielstein.  You can also hear former peat cutters Barbara Clorley and Bill Allmark and local resident Reg Meredith share their memories of peat cutting and life on and around the Mosses going back to the Second World War. 

 

The Art Trail is approximately 3 miles long and will take about 2 hours to walk, starting from the Morris Bridge car park at Whixall Moss (SJ 493354 SY13 2RT).  It links with part of the Fenn’s and Whixall Mosses History TraiL.  The paths are well marked, level and easy to walk but often wet and boggy so it is recommended to wear wellingtons or sturdy footwear.

 

The project will continue with a public exhibition of new artworks at Qube Gallery, Oswestry in October.  Recent work with artists Kate Johnston, Dr Sue Challis, Shropshire Wildlife Trust and Wem Youth Club will be shown in an exhibition at Wem Town Hall in September. Australian exhibitions will follow in 2022.

Further details at https://ofthemosses.com/art-trail/

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