Tread lightly by Anthony McCluskey

17 Apr ‘14

9.00AM - 5.00PM

Venue: Student exhibition area, Pathfoot Building, University of Stirling

This exhibition showcases the work of Anthony McCluskey, an artist inspired by nature and our interaction with it. The paintings and drawings are of the places Anthony visited and flowers he has found. The hills, rivers and meadows of the Scottish Highlands have inspired the artist to create these works, both as a reminder to himself of where he has been, and a call to the viewer to go outdoors and experience these places themselves.

Anthony has chosen to do several drawings of wild orchids in particular, because of their sensitivity to different types of land management. Most orchids have very specific conditions that allow them to grow, and these conditions are easily disrupted if the land is changed. They have disappeared from their former habitats, as agriculture has become increasingly intensive and the land inhospitable to such sensitive plants. Already two have become extinct in the UK, and a few others are very close to disappearing from our shores forever.

Meadows and other grasslands also feature heavily in Anthony’s work.  He says

 “Traditionally managed meadows are the last refuges for many kind of wildlife in the UK. We have lost 97% of these meadows over the last 80 years, and with them the insects, birds and mammals that thrived in them”

Several of the works immerse the viewer the meadow, with grass and flowers towering overhead.

The title painting ‘Tread lightly’ was inspired by Anthony’s trips to the Scottish Highlands in summer 2013. In particular he spent time in Glen Lyon and the hills around Ben Lawers, Perthshire. Here he explored the hills and rivers, discovering wildflowers and wildlife that were new to him. The temporary footprint on the rock is all he leaves behind there, and it echoes his own views that we should each reflect on the impact we have on the earth in all of our activities.

Anthony is a member of the Stirling University art club, and profits from the sale of the pieces will go to the club to help stage new exhibitions and buy materials.

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