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Exploring Nature Through the Eyes of Jacqueline Amies

Drawing inspiration from the timeless writings of Gilbert White (1720-1793), local artist Jacqueline Amies has embarked on a captivating exhibition Biophilia at Gilbert White’s House and Gardens which opens on the 9th April.

Over the past year, Amies has made regular pilgrimages to Gilbert White’s House in Selborne, immersing herself in the natural splendour that once captivated the pioneering naturalist.

Amies’ exploration of the house and its surrounding gardens has been a deeply immersive experience, echoing White’s own practice of “watching narrowly.” With each visit, she has keenly observed the ebb and flow of the seasons, noting the subtle changes in the landscape and the diverse array of insects and wildlife that call the gardens home. Venturing beyond the confines of The Wakes, Amies has also traversed the local landscapes mentioned in White’s seminal work, “The Natural History of Selborne,” uncovering hidden gems like wild orchids at Noar Hill and rare birds on Shortheath Common.

These encounters with nature have left an indelible mark on Amies, fostering a profound connection to the natural world and deepening her understanding of its intricacies. Inspired by White’s writings, she has ventured further afield, seeking out endangered species like Swifts and the Swallowtail butterfly, whose habitats are now threatened.


At the heart of the Biophilia exhibition lies a mesmerizing display of delicately arranged natural forms housed within technology boxes. This cabinet of curiosities beckons viewers to take a closer look at nature through a reimagined lens, inviting them to marvel at its beauty and complexity.

In addition, the exhibition includes a vibrant display of postcards, alongside drawings depicting plants and wildlife inspired by the artist’s observations. By momentarily escaping the digital world and immersing oneself in the wonders of nature, visitors are encouraged to cultivate a childlike curiosity that fosters understanding, appreciation, and conversation about the natural world.

As guests wander through the Biophilia exhibition they are invited to embark on their own journey of discovery, guided by the spirit of Jacqueline Amies and the enduring legacy of Gilbert White. In a world that often moves at breakneck speed, Biophilia reminds us of the beauty and wonder that can be found when we take the time to pause, observe, and connect with the natural world.

Biophilia opens on the 9th April and closes on the 23rd June 2024, the exhibition is free with admission.