A new photography exhibition exploring rewilding in the UK is now open at Bournemouth University’s Atrium Gallery.
The concept of rewilding is taking the UK by storm. The 2019 bestselling book ‘Wilding’ by Isabella Tree has raised public awareness of the idea, as has a storyline on the Archers. Sir David Attenborough is a supporter of rewilding and even Ed Sheeran says that he plans to rewild as much of the UK as he can!
Despite the publicity and soundbites, many people are not sure about what rewilding really means, and this exhibition by Dorset photographer and nature conservationist Sam Rose intends to ‘unwrap’ the concept and help people to find out more; and encourage them to get involved themselves.
The gallery will host a range of more than 40 images, including the animals that are the ‘ecosystem engineers’ and make rewilding happen, the people who choose to rewild, and the landscapes that result from rewilding. It also includes some drone photography of some areas being rewilded, and a range of fine-art black and white images that explore the ‘messiness’ and uncertainty that surrounds rewilding. Sam will also set out a couple of surprise exhibits as part of the display.
The work was all undertaken over the last two years as part of a Masters Degree in Photography at the neighbouring Arts University Bournemouth. Case studies were undertaken as far afield as Glenfeshie in Scotland and the Lizard in Cornwall, although there is a a particular focus on the Knepp Wildlands in West Sussex, the subject of the book Wilding, mentioned above.
Sam says “I hope that this exhibition will inspire people to find out a bit more about rewilding, what it means and why it is so important for us all. It is all about letting go and allowing nature to take the lead in restoring damaged ecosystems, and about the people who have the courage to do that. It is amazing and beautiful to see what happens when nature is allowed to thrive.”
The exhibition is accompanied by a website: whatifyoujustleaveit.info and a podcast also called “What if you just leave it?” available on most podcast platforms. It is gratefully supported in part by Heal Rewilding and the Fine Family Foundation, and created in collaboration with the Arts University Bournemouth and Bournemouth University.