Philippa Beale

In 2009, I began to change direction from being a conceptual artist to focusing on painting trees.In 2013 I exhibited in the contemporary section of Under the Greenwood at St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery in the New Forest, and soon after became one of the founding members of The Arborealists movement.

As a conceptual artist, my work often involved trees. In 1978, I exhibited Collected from Here, a series of sculptures and photographs about my mother’s orchard at the Angela Flowers Gallery in London.Soon after I exhibited thousands of real apples at The Richard Dermarco Gallery in Edinburgh. The ephemoral traces of my exhibitions are now at the Acme Gallery archive at The Whitechapel Gallery.

Since the 1970s I have exhibited work at the Institute of Contemporary Art, ,LondonThe Arnolfini, Bristol, The Fruit Market in Edinburgh, The Royal Academy and many major galleries.In 1981 I exhibited in the Akulmulatory Gallery in Poland .In 1983 I became the first and only ‘artists in residence’ at Southampton City Art Gallery.I exhibited at Camden Arts Centre, where I met the sculptor Neville Boden who elected me to the London Group and later as President curated their exhibition at the Curve Gallery in the Barbican. Throughout this time I was producing films, billboards sculpture and large photographic permanent installations.The last was of which was The fourteen Stations of the Cross at The Church of the Virgin at Vaux en Couhe, 86700 France.

However when reviewing thirty years of work, for my retrospective at the LCC galleries in 2007, I realised I had always being drawing trees, which because they didn’t seem to be part of my ‘political agenda’ kept fairly quiet about, selling them cheaply to friends who appreciated them. After that exhibition I decided to live in the countryside in France where they were trees I loved, where I discovered that trees have their political side. Visiting Gibraltar for eighteen months to paint palm trees, I discovered their importance to the development of every major religion, the historical and cultural context of our lives quite literally grows from trees.