What's On

Mark Frith: Ancient Oaks

The Art of Trees
20 April 2024 — 14 July 2024

See astonishingly detailed drawings of Britain’s ancient oaks by Mark Frith, in this rare exhibition of his work.

Mark Frith is inspired by a childhood immersed in countryside and woodland. At the age of 60 he began an ambitious project to draw “the most important oak trees in Britain.” In this exhibition you will see 8 of his huge tree portraits, getting an up-close look at buds, bark and branches. The project took four years to complete and Frith travelled the length and breadth of Britain to capture the character of each tree.

The drawings in this exhibition are rarely exhibited and have been generously loaned by the Heart of England Forest Trust. Local visitors may recognise a depiction of The Major Oak, located in nearby Sherwood Forest.


Mark Frith

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

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. Since completing this project, 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

Visitor Information

See this exhibition in the Gallery.

Free Entry.

Gallery Talk

Join us for a gallery talk with Mark Frith to learn more about his work

31 May, Midday

Mark Frith is represented by the Tree Art Gallery, a contemporary art gallery specialising in artworks inspired by trees and wood. It was founded by Emmeline Hallmark, a specialist in British landscape art of the 18th and 19th centuries, and is a culmination of her studies, passion and interpretation of nature in art.