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'Blood From Stone' by Justin Carter

Updated 28th November 2019

Justin Carter’s new exhibition Blood From Stone opened on Thursday 20 December at The Arches. The launch night featured an illuminating talk with Justin and Susannah O’Riordan, the Roots of Rockingham Project Officer for the Back from the Brink project, led by Butterfly Conservation. Justin built on extensive research of Rockingham Forest during his time as Artist in Residence, focusing on the intersection of the natural and industrial in the area’s history. This led to the creation of iron gall ink, made from foraged wasp galls and rust scraped from disused mining equipment. He then used this ink to create the inkblot prints on display in the exhibition.

Susannah introduced the conservation work being done in the Rockingham Forest area by the Back from the Brink Project. This four-year project focuses on improving habitats for 15 priority species including bats, plants, birds, adders, butterflies and moths. This includes the reintroduction of the Chequered Skipper Butterfly species, formally declared extinct in England in 1975. Susannah felt a strong connection between her conservation work and Justin’s images, from the evocation of invertebrates in the inkblots to the colours of the inks he produced using materials from the Rockingham Forest area. For his part, Justin related to Susannah’s tales of catching butterflies, as he was trying to capture elusive moments during his residency.

Blood From Stone is on show at The Arches for the next few months, open seven days a week excluding Christmas day. If you’d like more information about the work, visit during our next Arches Insights day on Saturday 23 February 2019.

Justin is the second of four residencies at Fineshade Wood from 2018 to 2020 as part of our two year programme, The Forest Is The Museum. The following residencies will be with Owl Project and Abigail Lane & Lala Meredith-Vula.

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