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Richard Dawson is an artist who has worked on a previous project with Chester Zoo as well as other natural history exhibitions.  Richard has been working in collaboration on two spaces for Wild Worlds: Celebritrees, an installation designed to allow visitors to explore trees through different senses.  And Arthropods with artist Jacqui Symons, which showcases the different habitats of a wide range insects.

Name(s): Richard Dawson
Website page:
Name of ‘world’ you’ve been developing: Celebritrees and Arthropods
We caught up with Richard so he could tell us more about Celebritrees and what inspiration he used for this space:

“Celebritrees is a series of installations that explore the wonderful trees at Chester Zoo through different senses. I hope visitors will gain a stronger attachment and engagement with trees generally.  I hope their encounters  with  the  Chester  Zoo  Celebritrees  will  allow  them  to  take  an interest  in  their  local  trees  and  understand  how  important  they  are  to our environment, especially  if  they  live  in  Sheffield.”

“I gained inspiration from the plethora of different trees growing within the grounds of Chester Zoo, the beauty of their form, colour and the experience they offer all the senses, combined with the fact that they are mostly overlooked by visitors. I was looking forward to learning more about the different trees at the Zoo and sharing this knowledge with visitors then seeing how visitors interact with the artworks and Chester Zoo’s Celebritrees.”

“It’s nice to be collaborating with Chester Zoo again as I previously worked on the Bumblebee Garden creating the aBumblebeeabode for The Wildlife Connections Festival.  I have carried out a number of similar projects and currently work with a number of conservation organisations using creative engagement to engage the public with the importance of protecting native flora and fauna. The challenge of collaborating with Chester Zoo is to explore and discover ways of engaging with a very diverse audience during an already very busy festival.”

“My favourite plant is Metzgeria furcata, the forked veilwort. And my favourite animal is the Vespula vulgaris. That’s the Common Wasp and I like them because they invented paper!”

Discover Celebritrees Discover Arthropods