Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett will this year be sending Christmas cards featuring a large-scale artwork by environmental arts group Red Earth.
The leader of the national party has chosen the striking image of FOLD, a wooden structure at Wolstonbury Hill, in the South Downs National Park, an area that has a continuous archaeological history since the Neolithic.
She said: “I chose this image because it’s a beautiful example of creativity and awareness of the ecology and archaeology of a landscape that has been home to humans for many thousands of years.
“The snow, hills and the distinct outline of a wooden animal fold, similar to those used across the UK as people moved from nomadic hunter-gathering to farming, create a striking, beautiful winter scene in which the human impact is only a small part of the natural world.
“Yet there are historical traditions here of many eras – including the annual Ascension Day Tradition that sees the head of Hurstpierpoint College hand out ‘Lowe’s Dole’ – a reminder of continuing community spirit and local traditions.”
FOLD was created as part of Red Earth’s CHALK project, in which installations and performances took place at two sites along the South Downs.
FOLD was built from coppiced greenwood: hazel, sycamore and ash.
Red Earth co-director Simon Pascoe said:
‘We’re delighted Natalie Bennett has chosen this image of our work. We support the Green Party, and it’s great to receive this endorsement of our work from the Greens.
CHALK was a project close to our hearts, celebrating as it did our local landscape. We live quite close to the Wolstonbury Hill site and we do go and check on Fold every so often.’
• Red Earth is a Brighton-based arts group which explores and creates installations and performances in and in response to the landscape. Its co-directors are Simon Pascoe and Caitlin Easterby.
• FOLD is part of CHALK, a project based on the ecology and archaeology of the South Downs National Park. It is inspired by Neolithic animal husbandry and the presumed practice of herding animals into safety.
• It was constructed from young greenwood trees of hazel, sycamore and ash, materials which were available to Neolithic farmers.
• For more information about Red Earth, please visit www.redearth.co.uk