|Among the many visitors to Dorset’s beaches this summer was award-winning artist Esther Tyson, working on a unique project to raise awareness of its wildlife. Esther, winner of the Undersea Wildlife Art Award from Dorset Wildlife Trust in association with The Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA), has been at Studland Bay working underwater to capture its extraordinary undersea wildlife in art. Now her finished paintings and the underwater drawings are being unveiled at the Society’s annual exhibition in London this month.
The Undersea Wildlife Art Award, established in 2007 by Dorset Wildlife Trust, provides a bursary for an established artist to learn to dive and then to work underwater, recording the wildlife of the sea in art. Esther, an accomplished artist based in Derbyshire, was keen to work in the seagrass habitat of Studland Bay to help in the campaign for its protection.
Raising awareness for seagrass meadows
Esther said: “Diving at Studland has been an incredible privilege, the seagrass habitat enchanting and drawing underwater has become as natural as drawing above. I have been fortunate enough to see remarkable sea life in these waters.”
Dorset Wildlife Trust is keen to raise awareness of Studland’s seagrass meadows, home to a rich variety of wildlife, including breeding populations of both British species of seahorse and endangered undulate rays. Studland Bay has been put forward as one of the recommended new marine reserves and conservationists are determined to keep the pressure on the Government to fulfil its promise of a network of adequately protected areas by 2012.
The Society of Wildlife Artists Annual Exhibition is at the Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1 from 27th October to 6th November. Exhibition open daily 10am to 5pm, closing at 1pm on the final day. For more information visit www.mallgalleries.org.uk.
Find out more about the wildlife of Studland Bay and support the campaign to protect it.
For more information please contact Peter Tinsley at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
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About Dorset Wildlife Trust www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk
See more pictures at Esther's Facebook page.
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.
Esther Tyson prepares to dive at Studland Bay
Photo by Nicky Hoar
Esther Tyson and diving buddy at Studland Bay
Photo by Nicky Hoar
This painting shows eelgrass and a hiding sand goby painted from the drawings created underwater. Note eel grass is a type of seagrass.
This painting shows wrasse, goby and eel grass also painted from drawings created underwater.
One of Esther’s drawings actually done from life underwater showing wrasse, goby and eelgrass.