Living With Trees. The Fitz Gallery, Keswick Museum and Gallery

August to September 2019

This exhibition, featuring the work by Helen Johnson Artist, asks us to question our consumerism and use of plastic in a world full of beauty.  The colour and composition of the works allows us to hope for a better future, in contrast to the use of plastic, reminding us of man’s self-destructive tendencies. In September 2017, David Attenborough first aired his ‘Blue Planet 2’ documentary showing the horrifying truth about plastics in our oceans and the environment.  Since then, there has been a lot of talk about change. Whilst supermarkets are being pressured to reduce their plastic packaging from a more aware public, the reality of the weekly shop is that it is still incredibly difficult to avoid purchasing items in plastic.  Fruit and vegetables still come in unnecessary packaging, toiletries and cleaning products are almost impossible to source without plastic and there is still, according to Attenborough, 8 million tons of plastic per year entering the Earth’s oceans.

Life in the beautiful and breath-taking landscapes of the Lake District and Cumbria seems a long way away from all this.

Trees have been identified as a possible saviour to our Climate Change catastrophe and yet our relationship with plastic continues to put all of the natural environment at risk.

Helen’s art work, by using single use/ non-recyclable plastic, collected from her inability to remove it from her life completely, aims to ask the viewer to consider what lies beneath the beauty of the environment (on in the case of Helen’s images, on the surface).

Trees 2 on The South Tynedale Railway, A