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Luke Duggleby launches unique outdoors exhibition of prize winning photography at Grizedale Forest

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Artwork in the forest

The Forestry Commission’s Grizedale Forest in Cumbria will play host to an award-winning photography exhibition from 15 November, where visitors will be able to walk amongst the trees to see “Guardians of the Areng Valley”, Luke Duggleby’s stunning photographs taken in the forests of Cambodia.

Duggleby is winner of the inaugural Forestry Commission England Exhibition Award, part of the annual Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2014 awards.

The competition is an international showcase for the very best in environmental photography and film and the Forestry Commission prize gave the winner the opportunity to present a solo exhibition in England’s pubic forests. Grizedale Forest’s long history of outdoor art makes it the perfect location to launch the tour and the perfect setting in which to reflect on the wider global issues and concerns relating to our environment.

Luke Duggleby is an award winning British photographer from Yorkshire, now based in Bangkok, Thailand. Luke’s winning image ‘Wrapping a surviving tree’ is part of a wide ranging portfolio of work that brings to the publics’ attention the plight of the Cardamom Forest in Southwest Cambodia.

This exhibition is the world premiere of a significant body of work by Duggleby. The photographs shown in the exhibition present Duggleby’s journey into the Cardamom Forest, somewhere he has returned many times as a photographer. They focus particular attention on a group of Buddhist monks pioneering a small but influential environmental movement aimed at reversing forest destruction to protect the indigenous peoples and endangered species of the remote Areng Valley.

Luke Duggleby says,

“I am very proud and honoured to be presenting my work in such an amazing setting. I grew up next to a forest very similar to Grizedale in North Yorkshire, so to be able to combine this with my other passion, photography, is a wonderful experience. And to be able show my documentary about a forest in peril, whilst in a forest that has been preserved and managed beautifully for years, will make the message behind the images even more powerful."

The exhibition will see the photographs reproduced in large scale and exhibited outdoors in a fully accessible part of Grizedale Forest. The forest setting will be a unique way for visitors to experience and connect with an international story, a poignant reminder of the fragility of physical and cultural landscapes around the world.

Hayley Skipper, Curator of Arts Development, Forestry Commission England says,

"Forestry Commission England have created this new award to provide a unique opportunity to exhibit an exceptional body of work. ‘The Guardians of Areng Valley’ reveals the breadth and depth of one of the many stories from around the globe told by the photographs in the Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year.

“We are absolutely delighted to be presenting the work of Luke Duggleby and the important story of the community and eco-warrior monks efforts to protect this remote area of the Cardamom Forest. Luke has created an exceptional body of work and we are thrilled to exhibit these images for the first time in this unique solo exhibition set amongst the trees at Grizedale Forest."

Duggleby has been a professional photographer working in Asia since 2004. Using Bangkok as his base he regularly travels the continent and further afield shooting assignments for some of the worlds most respected publications and NGOs as well as undertaking personal projects. His images have featured in many respected photography competitions and have been published by clients ranging from The Sunday Times, National Geographic, The Guardian, Greenpeace, Monocle and The New York Times

The exhibition launches at Grizedale Forest during a fortnight of art exhibitions, music and events taking place to launch 'Lakes Culture', an exciting new project to establish the Lake District as the UK's leading rural cultural destination.
As part of this celebration, the Forestry Commission are hosting a symposium on Friday 14th November where Luke will introduce the exhibition. Luke will be joined by special guest speakers Dave Pritchard, international consultant; arts & environment (Chair of CIWEM's Arts and Environment Network) and Dr Angus Nurse, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Middlesex University who will discuss Luke’s work as part of a broader environmental and photographic context.

The exhibition will be open daily from 15 November 2014 to 1 March 2015. Entry is free, for full details see the Grizedale Sculpture website

Notes to Editor

Media contact: Richard Hector-Jones at Creative Concern – or 0161 236 0600.

Images attached: all copyright Luke Duggleby:
Bun Saluth
Wrapping a Surviving Tree
Siamese Crocodiles

1. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. The North England Forest District looks after forests in Cumbria, the Lancashire, Northumbria, Tyne and Wear and County Durham.

2. Lakes Culture is an exciting new project which aims to establish the Lake District as the UK’s leading rural cultural destination. As one of 10 Arts Council England Cultural Destinations, it will bring together the area’s tourism and cultural sectors to better promote the wealth of cultural activities on offer to local, domestic and international visitors. The project will also provide sponsorship money for innovative arts projects, support training and development opportunities in the tourism and cultural industries, as well as funding national advertising campaigns and social media activity, until March 2017. Organisations involved in the project include Kendal Brewery Arts Centre (Lead Organisation), Lakeland Arts Trust, Kendal Arts International, Wordsworth Trust, Theatre by the Lake, Forestry Commission - Grizedale, Cumbria Tourism, National Trust, Lake District National Park and South Lakeland District Council.

3. Grizedale Forest is the UK’s First Forest for Sculpture and part of the Forestry Commission’s Forest Art Works programme. Since 1968 England’s Public Forest Estate has played host to artworks and initiatives across art forms. We believe that woodlands and forests are vital places for contemporary artists to engage with, to make and present new work. Forest Art Works is a new partnership between Arts Council England and Forestry Commission England to support achieving great art and culture for everyone in England's public forests.

4. Launched by CIWEM, the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, the Environmental Photographer of the Year competition was created to enable photographers to share images of environmental and social issues with international audiences, and to enhance our understanding of the causes, consequences and solutions to climate change and social inequality. It is now one of the fastest growing photographic competitions in the world. The 2013 exhibition attracted a wide international audience through features in publications such as The Guardian, The Telegraph, British Journal of Photography, and Image Magazine. CIWEM is the leading Chartered Professional Body covering all aspects of water and environmental activity, sustaining the excellence of the professionals who protect, develop and care for our environment.

5. SPONSOR: The Environmental Photographer of the Year is generously sponsored by Atkins. Throughout their history from post-war regeneration to high-speed rail and the integrated sustainable cities of the future their people’s breadth and depth of expertise and drive to ask why has allowed them to plan, design and enable some of the world’s most complex projects

SUPPORTER: The Environmental Photographer of the Year tour is kindly supported by Forestry Commission England - as the guardian of forests and woodlands in England they believe that Forest Art Works and that woodlands and forests are vital places for contemporary artists to engage with, to make and present new work.