Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG) announces new artists to feature in their series of online video shorts hoping to engage and inspire until the gallery reopens in May.

The CREATIVE CABIN SHORTS series connects to nature and the landscape around us, providing much-needed culture for art lovers in lockdown.  The March programme starts and ends with birdlife, from the wonders of migratory birds to a sonic dawn chorus.

Other shorts coming up in the series include new films from Artist and Herbalist Belle Benfield, Artist and Lecturer Pip Lawrence and Reader in Contemporary Art Practice: Art and Environment Justin Carter.

Launching on 3 March, is a mesmerising film by performer Tom Bailey and his theatre group Mechanimal.  'Zugunruhe', an ornithological term for ‘migratory restlessness in birds’, explores the incredible flight of a marsh warbler, the world’s only bird whose song echoes its migration route. 

Rehearsing among birds in the wetlands of Somerset, Bailey creates a feast of bird behaviour alongside a digital sound map of the marsh warbler’s journey.  The original performance, a Herald award winner at the Edinburgh Fringe, is reimagined here for an online audience.

Tom Bailey commented: "I’ve been making work about the natural world for a few years now, exploring the representation of non-human life on stage, a way to ‘meet’ the animal, physically, rhythmically, emotionally, in my body and imagination. But now rethinking how it might translate for an online audience. Zugunruhe is a mix of fun, movement, sadness, laughter, beautiful sound… I hope this is a space to reflect on the impact we are having on our changing planet."

Continuing on the theme of birds is a sonic dawn chorus created by sound artist and RSPB warden Tony Whitehead. Tony's interest is in site specific live art, text and performance, particularly in relation to sound and the natural environment. 

Tony explains: "…if you’re out here, to give yourself some space from all that noise and that bombardment of information that we have that just leads to confusion. To strip away that confusion. To get yourself into a place where you can stop and then start to re-engage quietly with the world and allow the creativity to respond to what’s around you. And out of that creativity, for your imagination to start re-engaging with the world."

Artist Justin Carter, Reader in Contemporary Art Practice: Art and Environment, uses Klecksography in his artwork to help produce images which appear to come from nature; including butterflies, insects and plant forms. Klecksography is a simple printing method which requires no skill or specialist equipment, but it’s great fun and helps to generate interesting and unpredictable results. Justin's short film introduces the history of the process and demonstrates how easy and rewarding it can be for anyone to engage with.

Many people are familiar with klecksography or Rorschach inkblots. Perhaps lesser known is the German poet and medical writer Justinus Kerner who was a big influence on Rorschach. Kerner was the first person to publish a book using inkblots. He combined accidental inkblot prints with hand drawn marks and poetry inspired by the images he perceived.

The CREATIVE SHORTS series is dedicated to the 15,000 extraordinary employees across the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Northern Devon NHS Healthcare Trust, as well as other NHS staff and key workers across the region.

Following the successful NATURE SHORTS and MAKERS SHORTS series, these are  delivered in partnership with Wild East DevonBlackdown Hills AONB and East Devon AONB.

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