What's On

Gallery Talk: A Journey to Draw Britain's Ancient Oaks

31 May 2024

Join us for a gallery talk with Mark Frith, the artist behind our current exhibition of ancient oak drawings.

At the age of 60 Mark Frith embarked on a journey to draw 20 of ‘the most important oak trees’ in Britain. What inspired this ambitious four-year project? How does he create these huge and incredibly detailed tree portraits?

Come along to marvel at the detail of these drawings, you might recognise his portrait of Nottinghamshire’s Major Oak, currently on display in the gallery.

Mark Frith

Artist and filmmaker, Mark Frith has produced many documentaries, including the BAFTA award-winning The Lie of the Land. Returning to his childhood home in Gloucester rekindled a love for drawing.

In 2011 he began an ambitious project to document Britain’s ancient oaks, commissioned by the late publisher, poet and lover of trees, Felix Dennis. These drawings express our deep connection with trees, capturing something of the soul of the ancient oak tree. Mark Frith is currently working on another 20-drawing series to capture Britain’s ancient ash trees.

“I’m an old man yet I’m only 71, and some of the trees I’ve drawn are 1,000 years old. When I’m with them and when I draw them, I think about my mortality and the brief nature of human life that passes fleetingly beneath them.” – Mark Frith

Booking Information

Friday 31 May, Midday.

Tickets for this talk are Pay What You Think: choose from £3, £5, and £10 tickets.

Newsletter members get priority booking for this talk.

Not a member? Click here to join up and get your priority access code (it’s free!)

Bookings are open for general admission from 27 May 2024.


This event is partially funded by Inspire: Libraries, Museums and Culture.

All participants are required to complete a short registration form on booking.

Meet for this talk in the Harley Gallery.