This exhibition presents the work of three artists who apply unusual approaches and media to the subject of wildlife: collages by Paul Bartlett, recycled sculptures by Barbara Franc and stencil paintings and prints by Jo Ruth. The results are imaginative depictions of animals and their habitats that, for all the fun they deliver, are also keenly observed.

Paul Bartlett is a self-taught artist with a PhD in animal behaviour. He has always been interested in nature and has painted since childhood. Exploring nature and chancing on wildlife is when he is most content. Recreating these experiences in the studio in ways that convey the drama of the moment is a satisfying process: “I use recycled magazines in my collages. The challenge is to create a piece almost entirely out of the ripped paper. The use of text that relates to the subject adds an extra element of intrigue. My aim is to make visually stimulating work that inspire an appreciation of our natural world and the desire to protect it.”

Barbara Franc is a London-based sculptor who has always been fascinated by the sculptural forms of animals. She studied painting and drawing but developed her own techniques to  create sculptures from unusual materials such as tins, foils and textiles, all of which are either found or discarded. Beyond the sound ecological reasons for this, what attracts her is the challenge of transforming something with a past history into something new and exciting. In this exhibition, she presents birds made of wire and tins and squirrels made from old biscuit tins and used textiles, all absolutely capturing the alertness of her models.

Jo Ruth is based in York and her inspiration comes from her observations of birds in the parks and gardens of the city, as well as in the Yorkshire countryside. Trained as a painter, she taught art and graphic illustration while developing her own creative practice. Experiments in silkscreen printing sparked her journey into stencil making which in turn led her to combine painting and printmaking. All her work is created using stencils made from carefully observed linear drawings. Once made, the stencils can be used in a variety of ways, combining them with painting and collage.

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