Celebrating Britain’s wildlife at Chichester’s Pallant House Gallery

A new exhibition celebrating Britain’s wildlife at Chichester’s Pallant House Gallery will be free to visit and open in time for half term.
Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993) Peregrine Falcon, 1974. Etching with aquatintElisabeth Frink (1930-1993) Peregrine Falcon, 1974. Etching with aquatint
Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993) Peregrine Falcon, 1974. Etching with aquatint

Spokeswoman Tess Viljoen said: “Birds and Beasts: The Wild Escape will present works from the Gallery’s collection inspired by an array of magnificent creatures, from the humble beetle to imperious falcons, by artists like Pablo Picasso, Elisabeth Frink and Graham Sutherland. The Gallery hopes the exhibition will raise awareness of biodiversity and invites visitors to join them in celebrating the amazing nature on our doorstep.

“The exhibition will connect with the Art Fund’s The Wild Escape project, the largest ever collaboration between UK museums with more than 500 taking part. The Wild Escape aims to bring museums, schools, families and communities together to engage young people with the UK's natural environment, drawing inspiration from the art and objects in our public collections and the creative and learning opportunities they can offer. The exhibition will be accompanied by fun activities for children to help them to engage with the art.

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“With support from Art Fund, Pallant House Gallery will also be working with around 100 pupils from three local primary schools based in Chichester and Bognor. The children will be exploring our appreciation of the natural world and understanding of our place in it through the Gallery’s Birds and Beasts and Sussex Landscape exhibitions. Workshops will take place in the studio at the Gallery and on location in the South Downs, delivered in partnership with the South Downs National Park Authority and Goodwood Education Trust. Creative responses and Climate Protection Pledges made by the children will be unveiled during a weekend of activities for all ages on Earth Day 2023, coinciding with the Gallery’s free Open Weekend on April 22-23.”

Jenny Waldman, director, Art Fund, said: “I'm thrilled that Pallant House Gallery is joining hundreds of organisations from the Outer Hebrides to Folkestone to connect thousands of children with the natural world through the UK’s truly great museums. The Wild Escape will empower families and children across the UK to visit and discover our wonderful museums, whilst taking positive action to picture a better future for our wildlife.”

Birds and Beasts: The Wild Escape runs from February 11-April 23, free to visit.

​Tess added: “For centuries artists have been captivated by wildlife, creating timeless images of everything from falcons in flight and boxing hares to delicate dragonflies and ferocious stag beetles. This exhibition draws together depictions of birds and beasts from the Pallant House Gallery collection – including Elisabeth Frink’s swooping owl, Sarah Gillespie’s velvety moths against an inky dark sky and Pablo Picasso’s chattering goldfinches. At a time when so much of our wildlife is under threat, this exhibition celebrates the many wonderful species that call this island home and the joy and inspiration they have given us. The exhibition is part of Art Fund’s Wild Escape initiative to engage children and young people in biodiversity.”