Welcome to the BTfL Art Galley
The art gallery was developed after the first Covid-19 lockdown when BTfL were unable to complete our tree planting programme and summer educational programmes.
So, like everyone else during lockdown we had to adapt and to find another way to engage with schools, teachers, volunteers, corporate sponsors and the wider community, so we asked our followers to draw – trees!
What transpired was a wonderful melting pot creativity and colour, a celebration of nature through art!
Opening our inbox each morning became a real treat as we were wowed at the talented people sending us their art work in for publication. The team at BTfL were inspired by all this creativity and began to understand that people were beginning to study trees, their form, shape, gnarly trunks and bark. Their twisted branches and the beautiful seeds, flowers and leaves with new eyes.
The variation in trees is amazing and our artists embraced their diversity and beauty. Our artists used paint, pencil, charcoal, pastels, collage and modelling, allowing their imaginations to run wild.
So here is where we celebrate this selection of amazing artwork.
We all have our own magical way of viewing trees. Our past, our childhood, where we grew up and where we live anywhere we go all have bearing on how we see and celebrate trees. From playing on a swing on a tree, to listening birds chirping in trees, climbing trees or watching cherry blossom leaves dancing in the wind our perspective is wide and varied and when our community of followers sent us their art work we were wowed!
When we put a call out to schools for art work, we were inundated. Many of the schools who sent work in had been guests at our tree planting events around Birmingham and clearly had enjoyed, absorbed and appreciated how much trees mean to the environment our wellbeing and the beauty of our city and of course to them personally.
Nelson Mandela School came out full of the joys at Spark Green Park in February 2020 planting a small whip woodland. Their green credentials were already well established, enjoying litter picks, campaigning for less traffic around their school and believing that you really do have to mean being green!
Somerville Primary School were well ahead of the game when we visited their school last year and invited six students to plant six trees with on a mall patch of grass at the end of a residential street. They had already planted three trees outside their school grounds. Somerville Primary School produced some beautiful painted pieces and here they are!
It was a wet and windy morning as 25 children form St Josephs School came to plant ten standard trees with us. The reception children weren’t fazed by the cold and while we waited for the holes to be dug, we tree danced, sang Christmas carols and hugged trees! A fabulous morning and some fabulous art work!
A lovely sunny morning where we planted 1000 whips with Waverley School, a happy bunch of students raring to go and accompanied by Radio 4 who had come to record urban tree planting with BTfL. Our trees were planted on a floodplain to aid flood defences and it was done with giggles and smiles all round. The pupils at Waverley School approached their artwork with the same gusto as they did the tree planting…..
Bordesley Green Nursery would’ve brought our youngest tree planters that year, but unfortunately due to flooding and appalling weather conditions we couldn’t complete our planting with the nursery. We were all disappointed and promised we would be planting with them as soon as we could. In the mean time the children were more than happy to paint trees instead of planting them.
Corpus Christi school had plantings postponed twice last year, once due to flooding then down to Covid lockdown. But it didn’t stop students putting all their efforts into their art and providing us with some stunning pictures….
In a peaceful courtyard in the centre of some inner city flats near the city centre 14, year-nine children from nearby St. Matthew’s C of E Primary School shared lots of enthusiasm, questions and facts about trees and were eager to help improve the air quality and aesthetics of their local area by planting trees. ‘Trees are the earth’s lungs, we need them, so it’s good to plant more and more,’ one pupil explained, ‘so lets get planting!’ As you can see by their amazing art wok and photography these pupils are very passionate about trees!
So we thank you for your art work and ask you to contribute more so we can share the creativity!
During Spring 2021, unable to undertake any tree planting events with schools due to lock down we turned our disappointment into a golden opportunity. We extended our art gallery to include photography. We set a challenge for schools across Birmingham to enter our tree/nature photography themed exhibition! We were amazed by the quality and creativity of the photographs. We would like to say huge thank to every school and every pupil that took part and we are vey happy to share some of these amazing photographs with you! Three worthy winners were chosen by award winning landscape photographer, Matthew Murray.
1st Place – Forestdale Primary School
Matthew Murray says: “This winning photograph has excellent consideration with regards to composition and creativity. The photograph has all the elements of recreation, peace and contemplation. The photographer has taken the photograph in a place of recreation, a place where people meet, play, talk, man made objects, a climbing frame basketball/netball hoops and the natural wonder of the oak tree which is the focal point of the image. The Oak tree has been photographed during a season where it has no leaves. this in-turn highlights the strength of the tree through its amazing structure and age.
2nd prize – Infinity and Beyond – Hillstone Academy
Matthew Murray says: ‘This photographer has produced an excellent creative image, with a real understanding of composition. Instead of photographing the tree at eye level, the image as been produced looking up which highlights the amazing pattern created by the tree canopy. This image demonstrates what you can achieve when you incorporate creative imaginative thinking.
3rd Prize – Cromwell Junior and Infant School
Matthew Murray says: ‘This is a very interesting photograph which shows real imagination and a flare for interesting composition telling a story through photography. I love the use of the bar and scaffolding within the image. The horizontal and vertical lines of the scaffolding work brilliantly as a contrast to the curved lines of the path and the straight line of the horizon in the far background which frame the tress beautifully. The trees become part of the image, not the main focus but an element within the whole photograph. The trees are highlighted and framed by the green grass which adds depth to the image. Great work!
Bishop Challoner School
Cromwell Junior and Infant School
Paget Primary School
St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School