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Art and nature showcase opens

by Marco Cillario Mon 30 November 2015, 5:03 pm

Damselflies and Birds, an exhibition of silkscreen and cyanotype prints by artist Liz Loveless, has opened at WaterWorks Centre in Lammas Road off Lea Bridge Road, Leyton.

The exhibition opened on 13 November and features 15 prints of birds, dragonflies and damselflies that live along the River Lea – two of which were specifically created by the artist for this occasion.

Feathers and flora have been collected from the riverbanks and surrounding parkland and used for seven silkscreen and eight cyanotype prints. 

Used to print photographs in the nineteenth century, the cyanotype process enables the user to create huge pictures from simple and natural materials: a mixture made up of natural elements is put on a sheet of paper and dried in the dark. Objects are then placed on it to draw a figure and the image is printed by exposing the paper to the sunlight. 

Cyanotype prints are also intended as a metaphor for endangered species: prints will gradually fade away if starved of oxygen, but will be revived if reintroduced to the air. 

Loveless said she had observed the wildlife closely over a long period of time for the exhibition.

She told Invest Waltham Forest that through her prints she wanted to draw visitors’ attention to the value of the wild spaces managed by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority for local residents and Londoners alike. She said: “A lot of people need green space because affordable properties are getting smaller and smaller and they often don’t have gardens.

“The Lee Valley is a fantastic natural reserve and you can literally walk from your home, and see a number of different types of birds and watch the wildlife. It is like a piece of countryside inside the city.” 

The WaterWorks Centre was once used for water purification and now hosts a nature reserve with over 500 varieties of plants, one quarter of Britain’s butterfly species and one of the largest bird hides in London. 

Duty manager Angela Keatley said: “We’re excited to be showcasing Liz’s work at our centre and very much hope it will inspire other artists to come and enjoy the vast open spaces we have to offer.” 

Loveless’ exhibition will be opened Friday to Sunday 10am-4pm until 20 December. Admission is free.

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