Oriel Lockdown at Aberystwyth Arts Centre

June 21st to August 31st 2021
Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth University, SY23 3DE

Curated by Ffion Rhys from Aberystwyth Arts Centre and Anthony Shapland, artist and curator at g39 Gallery, Cardiff

Flailed Hawthorn, Pembrokeshire, Wales, 2020 C-type print 139cm x 118cm

In this group show focusing on artists’ work during the COVID-19 pandemic, Perry turns his lens on the trees he describes as “outcasts”. Scrub trees such as hawthorns are often seen as ‘invader species’ and as such are often relegated to the margins of our landscapes. And yet these often unwanted, overlooked ‘invasives’ offer some of the richest, most diverse habitats for birdlife and insects and may offer the best hope of coping with the increasing impacts of climate change.  In Flailed Hawthorn, 2020 Perry captures the impact of hedgerow cutting in Pembrokeshire, a culture he suggests is ‘determined to control and tidy up nature rather than let it flourish’.

‘…the annual October destruction of hedgerows – as nature is given its worst ever haircut – is one of the most senseless acts of vandalism that we, as a nation, have become accustomed to in recent decades. Such destruction continues at large across our country. In the slashed, stunted metre-high hedgerows that increasingly constitute the norm, bullfinches, warblers, marsh tits need not apply.’  ‘The chilling mathematical hedge-lines we see in most of Britain today are entirely useless to most of our scrub-evolved wildlife’. 

Ben MacDonald and Nicholas Gates titled Orchard : A Year in England’s Eden, 2020

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