The launch weekend at Palgrave is drawing to a close. It has been an inspiring, educational, colourful, companionable and successful start to our Bugs & Blossoms campaign.
Opening night on Friday 24 May revealed the work of local artists in paintings, pen and ink, sculpture, ceramic, felted wildlife, 3D work in willow and wire and photographs.
Palgrave Community Centre offered a varied display throughout the hall and outside in the grounds and on the walls. Many thanks to all the artists who took part and to Jane McClintock who curated the exhibition.
Our inaugural talk was from naturalist and wildlife photographer Dr Nick Upton. An hour fizzed by while Nick described his childhood passion from grasshoppers and butterflies, marine wildlife and his involvement with BBC wildlife documentaries working with Sir David Attenborough, his encounters with insects across the globe, and then focusing down on bugs and blossoms found in UK habitats and the importance of conservation. Nick left us with a note of optimism that, if enough people care and take action, we can restore nature.
A lucky few photographers spent the Saturday on a macro masterclass with Nick, learning tips and techniques to get the best from photography down at blossoms level. We are very grateful to Nick for coming up from Wiltshire to launch Bugs & Blossoms and share with us his knowledge and experience.
Sunday saw two different, but popular, opportunities for Bugs & Blossoms. A crafty session for the practical minded creating bug sculptures from wire mesh with not one, but two, local artists – Jenny Goater and Maggie Campbell. So inspired were people that some booked to try out the willow sculptures the next day with Maggie Campbell. Thanks to both of them for sharing their talents, not just in the workshop, but creating sculptures which appeared inside and outside Palgrave Community Centre.
For those more interested in walking and words, we offered a morning on Mellis Common walking to Walnut Tree Farm, the home of Roger Deakin and the setting for much of his writing. We are very grateful to Titus and Jasmine for allowing us to roam around the garden and fields, and two intrepid swimmers were encouraged to try out the moat. Some of us were more enthralled by the dancing spectacle of female damselflies emerging from the water in all their translucent finery.
The walk along Mellis Common had yielded many exciting bugs & blossoms finds including good populations of Small Copper butterflies and a number of caterpillars and flies in need of identification. As we walked, we heard readings from Roger’s books about ants, flowers, and finding Walnut Tree Farm as a ruin. By coincidence a new book has come out about the farm and Roger’s life there, written by Titus and Roger’s son Rufus. The book features here under our Book Fest book news page:
Huge thanks to everyone involved with the weekend and particularly our friends at Palgrave who welcomed us to their hall and supported all the weekend events.
Bugs & Blossoms now fly down the river valleys with events throughout the summer in other locations.
Don’t forget Midsummer Moths with nature writer, passionate moth expert and Bugs & Blossoms patron, Mark Cocker.
In launching Waveney & Blyth Arts new campaign Mark said:
“Insects of all types – bees, butterflies, beetles, moths and even flies – have supplied their pollination services to all the Earth’s trees and flowers for the last 100 million years.
“It’s time we awoke to their central place in our shared planet. They are truly the little things that run the world and I commend to everyone the Bugs & Blossoms programme of Waveney & Blyth Arts. I’m also looking forward to celebrating this ancient partnership myself at an event at Geldeston Locks on 25 July. I hope you’ll join me.”
Just a reminder of why we are running our campaign from organiser Melinda Appleby: “We’re launching Bugs & Blossoms – a new initiative to work across all the creative arts – to celebrate the wild flowers and insects that are part of our lives. But we go further – we want the arts to draw attention to the plight of many of these species and to encourage people to be inspired by them and to take action, however small and however local, to conserve them.
“Our native insects and plants are in catastrophic decline and many species are disappearing. Our children will not have the rich and diverse landscapes of their parents and grandparents’ generations, nor the vocabulary that goes with them unless we act now. The events we have put together for this year include art exhibitions, walks and talks and the launch of our poetry competition focusing on Bugs & Blossoms.”