The Mosses have inspired an increasing number of artists and writers to make work in response to this peatland landscape. In the Mosses and Marshes project, artists Andrew Howe and Kim V. Goldsmith have made connections between the internationally significant wetlands of Fenn’s, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses NNR and the Macquarie Marshes of New South Wales, Australia to explore a wide range of themes. They have produced their own individual work and collaborative artworks, and they have worked with other artists, raising questions and provoking debate about the future of these fragile environments.
Take a look at some of the different arts activities that have taken place.
The first Mosses and Marshes exhibition of work by Andrew Howe and Kim V. Goldsmith was presented at Qube during October 2021. It featured video and sound works, prints, paintings and handmade paper collage
Sculptures created by Elizabeth Turner and Keith Ashford were located at Whixall Moss from July-October 2021. The work encouraged different perspectives on the landscape and human relations with it, and became way markers as part of an Art Trail of sculptures and soundscapes.
A walk of wetland soundscapes featuring history, recordings of wildlife, water and trees, poetry and local memories of life on the lowland peatbog of Fenn’s and Whixall Mosses.
The Mosses and Marshes book goes beyond the artworks, allowing the two lead artists Andrew Howe and Kim V. Goldsmith to expand on themes in 112 pages of writings and an array of beautiful images. Edited by Dr Liz Charpleix, the book features contributions from the artists, exhibition curators, ecologists, land managers, cultural specialists and local communities.
During the Summer 2021, children from Wem Youth Club made artworks inspired by visits to Whixall Moss with artists Sue Challis, Kate Johnston and Andrew Howe, Shropshire Wildlife Trust and Natural England. The first exhibition of the work was at Wem Town Hall in September/October 2021.
A sound trail in Wem, featuring recordings at Fenn’s and Whixall Moss with children from Wem Youth Club, former peat cutters Barbara Clorley and Bill Allmark, poetry by Ted Eames and Gertie Bielstein, and soundscapes from field recordings in the Mosses and Marshes edited by Andrew Howe and Kim V. Goldsmith.
Using elements of their research on the Mosses and Marshes project, Kim V. Goldsmith and Andrew Howe produced a set of special edition art cards for this Arts Territory Exchange touring exhibition, organised by Gudrun Filipska, Caroline Kelley, Lenka Clayton and Carly Butler