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Artwork sales to help save the planet

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SCULPTOR Dianne Preston, who is exhibiting during the Frome Art Trail Open Studios event, 6 – 14 July at the Silk Mill Studios, is donating money from sales of her artwork to help save the plant.  

Organisers say, “If you buy one of Dianne Preston’s wild creature sculptures or mosaics this year during the Frome Open Studios, she will donate 15% of the sale price to the World Wildlife Fund or Somerset Wildlife Trust for their work towards the survival of endangered species. You choose your preference.”

Dianne said, “I’m a sculptor who works in a variety of materials and scales. I’ve made a lot of wire sculptures and wire-supported papier mâché, with plaster and recycled materials. Lately I’ve developed an enthusiasm for mosaic as well.

“Like everyone else, I’m distressed by the state of the planet. We are interdependent, humans and all other living things, and I cannot bear the idea of losing our wonderful animals and birds, and the insects and flowers they depend on. I want them here for my children and grandchildren.

“So for this show I have chosen just a few who are in particular danger due to habitat loss or climate change. Some of them are local to the UK and nearby, and some from further afield. There are five species featured in this current project; the hazel dormouse, koala, puffin, orangutan and turtle dove.”

“Dianne is one of six artists based in Frome’s Silk Mill Studios to be exhibiting as part of this year’s Frome Art Trail Open Studios. Further information about the artists, and the other studios opening up to the public, can be found at www. fromeopenstudios.co.uk.

“Keep your eyes peeled around Frome to find out about a competition to name the animal creations!”

Information about the five species featuring in Dianne’s exhibition:

The most local is the hazel dormouse. Somerset Wildlife Trust says, “This shy and wonderfully endearing little mammal is now increasingly vulnerable to local extinctions in the UK. The loss and fragmentation of our woodland and hedgerow habitats, and changes to farming and woodland management practices, alongside the dormouse’s intense vulnerability to climate change – particularly warmer winters – mean that our work across the Mendip Living Landscape and our reserves to monitor and record dormice populations and restore and enrich woodland and hedgerow habitats to enable successful foraging and hibernation is critical.”

Dianne says, “I am an enthusiastic newcomer to Frome, and formerly lived on a narrowboat near the Thames and the first lock of the Grand Union Canal. Our sheltered little marina was a haven for wildlife – herons, kingfishers, coots, gulls, the Thames Doorstep snail (which featured on BBC’s Springwatch on 28th May), foxes and many others. Long ago I came for a visit from Australia and stayed, so that may explain my concern for the koala, whose habitat has been eroded by logging and mining and agri-farming, and now global warming has altered the composition of the eucalyptus leaves they depend on for their entire diet, so that the koalas are dying of thirst as the leaves no longer give them enough water.” Koala’s can now be seen at Longleat Safari Park.

Puffins – who can not love their astonishing summer bills? The RSPB says, “The threat to puffins is from global warming causing changes in distribution and numbers of small fish, while ground predators (e.g. rat, mink, cat) introduced to breeding colonies and pollution are also serious hazards.”

Orangutans. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) says, “The world’s largest tree-dwelling mammals, orangutans spend most of their time in the canopies of the tropical forests of Sumatra and Borneo.

Forest clearing for palm oil plantations and illegal logging are driving massive deforestation. That habitat destruction is exposing wildlife to more conflict with humans. Poaching for the illegal pet trade is also threatening them.”

Turtle doves. The RSPB says, “As the wildflower seeds they feed on have been lost from our fields and farms, turtle doves have disappeared too. Since 1995 we’ve lost 94% of turtle doves in the UK. No UK bird is declining faster.”

Dianne’s exhibition will be at Studio 16, Silk Mill Studios, Saxonvale, BA11 1PT from 6th-14th July, 11am-5pm, as part of Frome Art Trail Open Studios.

“Saving the planet isn’t that hard, you’ve only got to start in your own backyard!” – Amelia Stodel on Springwatch BBC2 28th May 2019.


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