The Wild Seas Centre reopens to visitors
Dorset Wildlife Trust will be re-opening its Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre in Kimmeridge on Wednesday 12th August and is celebrating with a new art exhibition revealing Dorset’s underwater landscape, with original artwork created by Dorset artist, Antonia Phillips.
The artwork provides a unique perspective of the seas just off our coastline and was commissioned for a new guide produced by Dorset Wildlife Trust. The guide, “Dorset’s Wild Seas”, aims to introduce people to the amazing variety of marine wildlife and habitats in the county and the network of protected areas recently set up to safeguard it for the future.
Antonia Phillips said “I was so pleased to be part of this amazing venture. With a love of Geology and having dived and sketched underwater, this was a most enjoyable challenge for me as an artist. The artwork needed to portray Dorset’s vibrant underwater landscape and different sediment types in an approachable way. No easy task! The surveys and myriad detailed photos helped me ‘re-imagine’ being in the landscape.”
Alongside the original art works will be some of the artists’ sketches. The process undertaken to produce the finished pieces was not straight forward and involved experimenting with a variety of textures and colours to represent different seabed habitats, from huge underwater sandbanks to shallow seaweed-covered ledges. The exhibition includes a short but eye-catching film showcasing Dorset’s marine protected areas and the brand-new guides will be available to buy for £3 each.
Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Wild Seas Centre Officer, Julie Hatcher, said, “It was exciting to work with Antonia and to develop these underwater scenes. While photos can show a diver’s-eye view, the water is rarely clear enough to see more than a few metres. By adding artistic elements, we have been able to peel away the sea to reveal the hidden world beneath the waves. People will be amazed at what’s right on our doorstep.”
The exhibition will run throughout August at the Wild Seas Centre at Kimmeridge. It is hoped that it will also be displayed at a variety of coastal venues later in the year.