Saturday, 27 April 2013

Pop-up Blossom Studio

This project is not part of Ancient Landscapes itself but is another environmental experience, organised this time by Victoria who painted the magnificent landscape we use in our publicity….
Blossom postcard by Victoria Brown

Have you ever felt disconnected from nature? Do you only capture its beauty fleetingly, rushing through your daily life?
I have a one-word suggestion for you...


The wonder of the bud and the explosion of thousands of unfurling petals creating a cacophony and mass majesty of blooms. Nature trumpeting spring, life and infinite possibilities!

We lose so much connection of humanness when we forget the seasons apart from the disruptive side of its nature.
Sometimes we can feel like we’re grating against it rather than basking with it in harmony, sharing the seasons joy.
To me there are few greater weighted displays of nature’s celebration than the fresh fizz of 'Blossom' the subject and title of my new exciting project, kindly supported by the Arts Council England, The National Lottery and Arts Derbyshire.

The blossoms are transient, urgent for their life, then they’re gone.

Come with me in awe, see the blossoms and my work in progress or bring your brushes and enjoy, capture a place in time and reconnect- if only for that moment, maybe that moment yearly?

If they were not here on our planet, if they didn't bloom, what would we miss?

What if we were separated from nature and lived only remotely in an electrified wire filled world and lost connection to nature completely? What if we forgot we were any part of it?

For me my life would ache with the loss, nature is as grounding to me as it is uplifting!

Join me?


Visit for information on Blossom events at Hardwick Hall, Chaddesden and Derby or follow Victoria on Twitter @victoriasart Facebook Page: www.facebook/VictoriaBrownartist and
Telephone 07973162721 or email:

Victoria's Ancient Landscape for our project

Sunday, 21 April 2013

The tide comes in!

An ancient sea in Hartington!

 On Sunday 12th May from 1 - 5pm, the ancient landscapes of the Peak District will come to life again (albeit a bit woolly and fluffy) in Hartington
finger tip coral growing

As part of the events to launch the Village Trail, our Ancient Landscape will be on show. Visitors will be welcome to dip their fingers into the woolly tentacles of ancient sea anemones and risk a nibbling by trilobites

ancient rockpool
Visitors will also be able to add their own fingertip corals or other creatures to the growing reef and to make their own Prehistoric Rockpool or Personal Trilobite to take home

Event details
Date: Sunday 12th May 2013,
Time: 1pm - 5pm
Costs: our activities are free (not sure about others)

Venue: Village Hall, Hartington, Hide Lane, Buxton, SK17 0AW

Other activities include fossils to look at, the Village Trail to follow, activities with the Peak Park Rangers and the chance to enjoy one of the Peak District's lovely villages!

make your own rockpool to take home

fingers can be at risk in an Ancient Landscape!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Sunshine and trilobites

Miller's Dale, Saturday 6th April
all set up and ready for action

fossils and finger-corals
A sunny day in the Peak District! This felt like an exciting release after weeks of cold snow and slippery roads and visitors came rushing out to bask in the sunshine

And the stones were waiting! We had a lovely day working with visitors to this peaceful stopping point on the Monsall Trail

We rummaged in the fossil-pot (thanks to the National Park Rangers for the wonderful chunks of limestone!)
having a good rummage

fluorspar with galena? out of the fossil-pot

We made new fingertip corals and personal trilobites

40 people went off to look at fossils along the Trail (thanks again to the Rangers for leading these)
fossil-expedition setting off!

And the rest of us (another 60 during the day), looked at stones, handled fossils, made models and enjoyed the sunshine!

personal nautilus

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Life in ancient rockpools

a finger-crinoid nestles in an Ancient Landscape
We've just had a lovely day at Castleton Visitor Centre in the Hope Valley in Derbyshire. After snow a couple of weeks ago closed the centre, and the roads, and dramatic Winnatt's Pass, and froze our first "ancient rockpools" day out, today really counted as the start of public workshops for this project

our practice pool to get people started

86 people joined us during the day to look at fossils and models of ancient animals, and to stroke, prod, squeeze and generally explore our Ancient Landscape. Then most people made for themselves either a fossil fingerpuppet or an ancient rockpool from these far-off Carboniferous days (or both). Given what we were finding in our imagined rockpools, it's probably just as well we humans weren't around then!

...and fingerfish

We did make some practical discoveries, however, including "the easy way to draw a trilobite" - details will follow in another blog. And we met Toby with his lovely fossil blog - why not take a look? Fossilfriends

But mostly, we made things....

so cold outside, it wasn't safe to take gloves off indoors!

Next event is Saturday 6th April - Miller's Dale