Sylva’s OneOak project (www.OneOak.info) is now on the road in a series of exhibitions during 2011 and 2012. These have been curated by volunteer Jane King. Here Jane King writes about her passion and interests, and what inspired here to volunteer with Sylva.
For the past 12 years I have divided my time between working in business as a freelance project manager and running an art and design practice from a printmaking studio in North Oxfordshire, making site specific work for interiors and gardens.
In 2009 I began to study climate change and attended 4degrees & beyond, an international climate change conference organised by the University of Oxford Environmental Change . A precursor to the Copenhagen climate change talks, the conference was attended by a wide variety of specialists and scientists from all over the world, presenting evidence of climate change and the likely regional impacts in Britain and the rest of the world. It was a life changing experience which made me think hard about the work I had been doing and why I was making art. I began to explore ways of becoming involved in environmental work. Building an existing knowledge of plants, I stopped making art commercially to study the potential benefits of woodland and forests for humans and the environment. At the beginning of 2010 I started to make a photographic record of local woodland ecosystems.
During my research it occurred to me that organisations working in conservation could take advantage of the success of our world class museums and galleries to expand the scope of their activities and reach a wider more diverse audience. This motivated me to begin creating a body of work about the importance of woodland and forests that could be taken into the public arena, in the form of an installation/touring exhibition, to raise awareness. I put together a personal statement and proposal and contacted a number of potential partners which is how I’ve come to work with the Sylva Foundation.
Most successful projects result from team effort – people with particular skills collaborating to achieve a shared goal. This is what attracted me to the OneOak project. Sylva has designed it specifically to raise awareness of the huge benefits of growing trees for wood in properly managed woodland, for humans but also the vast array of plants and animals that woodland supports as well as the environment as a whole. A win win outcome! They have brought together scientists, suppliers of wood, wood workers and artists to collaborate in telling the fascinating stories behind the life and felling of OneOak powerfully but clearly, through the series of exhibitions.
Jane King, OneOak exhibition Curator
Jane King can be contacted via Sylva (Contact us)