Events and Programmes
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Soil and Art, The Roots of Life

Soil and Art, The Roots of Life
Soil Painting Exhibition by David St Maur Sheil

The "Soil and Art, The Roots of Life" exhibition aims to raise public consciousness about soil and its precious role at the foundation of our life and continued healthy existence. Our featured artist, David St Maur Sheil, is an innovative artist who collects natural soils on site at KFBG and around the Lam Tsuen valley, using them to produce hand-made pigments and create unique art pieces displaying the beautiful natural colours of soil.

This exhibition invites you to explore the beauty and complexity of soil art and to deepen your connection with the earth. Soil art provides an artist with the opportunity to engage more intimately with their materials and with the natural environment from which the materials come. By prospecting for soils, the artist opens their eyes to the pigments that would otherwise be bought from commercial suppliers, and takes the time to grind and prepare their own materials. Through the activity of soil art, gathering soil with a high level of ecological consciousness, and taking time to reveal the hidden beauty in soil through works of art, soil art not only raises the consciousness of the artist but also engages and raises the consciousness of the viewer.

The KFBG Artist-in-Residence Programme invites you to witness David's unique approach to art and explore the often-overlooked world of soil and its importance in our lives. Pigment can be gathered from the environment in a way that leaves no visible trace, and the small amounts used can be balanced against the high level of ecological education that the art makes possible. Ultimately, if the artwork is returned to the soil, it will also simply compost in a natural way, whereas commercial paints with unknown chemical components cannot always be safely composted. Soil art, when conducted sensitively, is a deeply ecological approach to art, which also links us back to historical ways that artists prepared their paints.

Join us on this journey to rediscover the beauty and importance of soil and its vital role in our lives. We hope this exhibition inspires you to deepen your connection with the earth and to take action to protect and preserve our planet for generations to come.

Art House, Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden
Lam Kam Road, Tai Po, New Territories
November – December 2023