Wildlife Trust to showcase almost 1000 postcard designs by artists inspired by lockdown

Wildlife Trust to showcase almost 1000 postcard designs by artists inspired by lockdown

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is set to showcase almost 1000 unique postcards inspired by people’s experiences of nature during lockdown

Twelve months on from the closing date for entries in its lockdown inspired ‘Open Call’ to artists Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is delighted to announce that 984 Postcard designs, submitted by artists from across the UK and overseas will be exhibited at a special Post Card Show at its Idle Valley Nature Reserve from Sunday August 22nd to Sunday September 5th.

Postcard Show Art, birds and greenery

During the free exhibition at the Idle Valley Rural Learning Centre, off North Road, Retford, visitors will be able to reserve the unique designs for just £10, with all income supporting the charity’s wildlife conservation work, including the care of the Idle Valley Nature Reserve where preparations are being made to bring beavers back to the county for the first time in 400 years.

Speaking about the post card show, Head of People & Nature Liz Fleuty said: “The pandemic has presented everyone with unique challenges but it was clear that during lockdowns many, many people turned to nature for solace, escape and inspiration. The aim of our Open Call was to provide a showcase for artists of all abilities but we were totally overwhelmed by the response and the quality and diversity of the artworks is staggering.”

The Open Call was organised by local artist Trish Evans whilst working for the Trust and the Trust is delighted that Trish, together with Nick Humphreys, from INSTAR, will be curating the post card show.

Speaking ahead of the show Trish said:

“We are so inspired by the overwhelming quality of this postcard art show.  It is a time-capsule of creative expression… one of a kind… interpreting the natural world during the first lockdown in 2020.  The diversity, vibrancy and positivity of this show from artists living across the world is incredible.  We can’t wait to install this long-awaited show for the public to enjoy, and it’s been well worth the wait.”

The charity which cares for dozens of wild places across the county and stands up for wildlife across Nottinghamshire urged people to create unique postcard size artworks that reflected their connection with nature and green spaces during lockdown and had planned to open the Post Card Show last autumn but additional lockdowns made this impossible.

The Trust is now delighted to be able to re-organise the show and is thankful to the support of North Notts College and the RRN Group for use of rooms to mount the huge number of entries.

Postcard Show Art, rabbit with patterns

The call was triggered after the Trust noted an increase in people visiting its nature reserves, people visiting reserves for the first time and a huge leap in digital engagement via its website and social media accounts.

Whilst the uplift in engagement gave the Trust confidence of a good response it never envisage the volume of entries that flooded in from across the county, the rest of the UK and globally!

Liz added: “We worked hard to keep most of our nature reserves open throughout lockdowns but we had to close our nature centres and cafes and all our events and volunteering sessions were cancelled.

Despite these tough decisions it was clear that people found getting out in nature a great help, mentally and physically, so we created the Open Call to artists to encourage people to share their experiences creatively. We were hopeful of a positive response but were completely blown away by how many people gave their time and shared their artwork with us."

The artworks cover a wide variety of styles, from watercolour and pen and ink to textiles, ceramics and photographic techniques.

Liz added: “We never expected to receive so many entries from across the UK and from overseas and the scale of the response and the fact that the Open Call resonated with people from across the globe underlines just how important people’s connection with nature is."

INSTAR and Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust are now making final preparations to exhibit all 984 original artworks at its Idle Valley Nature Reserve near Retford from August 22nd.

Postcard Show Art, deer in town

Liz added: "From the start we wanted to use the post card show to highlight the wonderful Idle Valley Nature Reserve, our largest site and one where we have ambitious plans for the future. We are excited at the prospect of welcoming new visitors as well as old friends later in the month."

Ahead of the exhibition the charity’s café is now fully open each day between 10am and 3pm and the shop range is being expanded.

On the 15th of August the centre will host an Optics Demo with expert advice available for visitors interested in purchasing binoculars and telescopes to enhance their wildlife watching.

See our events page for more information on upcoming events.

For further details about INSTAR visit their website.