Putting wildlife in the picture

, 16 November 2011

Author Michael Blencowe

Swift by Mark Greco

A month or so after I started my new post in Lewes as the Sussex Wildlife Trust's Community Wildlife Officer, my attention was drawn to an advert for an exhibition by local artist Mark Greco entitled 'A Natural History (Part One)'. I soon found myself in the rather alien surroundings of an art gallery - not my usual habitat. Now, I don't know much about art - but I know what I like and Mark's images presented wildlife in a very striking way - but also conveyed an understanding of the subject.

Mark is a Sussex Wildlife Trust member and spends a great deal of his spare time walking in Sussex from where much of the inspiration for his prints is drawn. Not long after the exhibition our paths crossed via our involvement with the town's Viva Lewes magazine and since then Mark and I have been working in partnership on a monthly wildlife column. Each month I think of a subject - it could be hedgehogs, ivy, starlings - and give Mark a brief overview of what I'll be writing about. By the time I finally finish writing my article Mark has come up with another masterpiece to illustrate it. I think next year I may try and choose some more difficult subjects to test his artistic abilities - sea lamprey? head lice?

This week Mark will be opening his new exhibition 'A Natural History (Part Two)' comprising many new pieces some of which were inspired by my articles in Viva Lewes.

To launch the exhibition there will be a special event at the Linklater Pavilion in Lewes between 6 - 8pm on Friday 18th November. Aside from Mark's artwork there will be music, a bar and at 7pm I will be giving an illustrated talk (with sound effects!) about the natural history of all the species on display (yes, even the dodo!).

Mark Greco with swift print for auction
Mark has also kindly donated a first screen print of the iconic swift image which is used on my monthly wildlife newsletter and a blind auction will be held with all proceeds going to the Sussex Wildlife Trust.

If you are unable to join us on Friday evening the exhibition runs each day from the 19th - 27th November (Weekdays 10am - 4.30pm, Weekends 10am - 5pm).

More details, artwork and directions to the Linklater are available here

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