Julia Heslop 

​​This work documents the felling of trees to make way for new development in Shieldfield. It questions what is lost through the capture of economic value from land. This often fails to acknowledge the meaning particular trees hold for local people, and the role they play in local ecosystems.

A series of large-scale screenprints by Julia Heslop highlighting what has been lost as a result of rapid and extractive forms of development. Over the past year we have seen cherry trees cut down in our local area to make way for a new Lidl development. These are trees that have stood and flourished for many years, lost in a moment. Extracting living things to input cold hard buildings. For some, this is just a small sacrifice to pay for increasing the area’s retail provision. But what about community members who cherish these trees? Why can’t trees and retail developments co-exist? 

Between 1990 and 2016, the world lost 502,000 square miles (1.3 million square kilometers) of forest, according to the World Bank—an area larger than South Africa.* It is not just trees that are cleared to make way for development, this happens to people too. To clear and extract to make way for something ‘better’ changes an area, but does it seek the good of the communities who live there? How could we seek to flourish an area rather than extract from it? Is it possible for nature and architecture to thrive side by side? How can we convince developers to serve the communities they produce as well as the communities they displace, and not only prospect for profit?
* https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/deforestation