MORE people are being connected with trees and nature by a project using art.

Forestry England, which runs the Westonbirt Arboretum, is working with Gloucestershire charity Art Shape on the project which ends in May.

Thanks to funding from Arts Council England, Forestry England joined forces with Art Shape to help improve diversity in the arts.

The Arts Bridge Emergents project gives opportunities for professional development to up-and-coming artists who face disabling barriers.

Since May 2020 the Art Bridge Emergents artists have been working with artist in residence Deb Hoy.

Through a series of workshops looking at the critical connection between humans and trees they have created an exhibition of work and a new installation entitled Lungs of the Earth based in Silk Wood at Westonbirt Arboretum.

Art Shape project manager Harriet West said: "The partnership between Art Shape and Westonbirt Arboretum has proved a solace and inspiration for the Art Bridge Emergents artists who have presented different perspectives on the critical connection between humans and trees.

"The work demonstrates a deep engagement and connection with nature and the Arboretum."

The installation is based on the exchange of air from trees to lungs, mirroring the alveoli in lungs where oxygen enters the body and carbon dioxide is expelled.

It poses the question to the viewer, are they looking at a human lung or the branches of trees overlapping in a forest?

The installation will be in place until May 2021 for visitors to engage with and reflect on the connection they have with trees.

The Art Bridge Emergents exhibition is online at