New Forest Birds: Sculpture by Geoffrey Dashwood


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With text by Chris Packham


  • A unique collaboration between internationally renowned sculptor Geoffrey Dashwood and popular naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham
  • An unusual meeting of art and natural history taking in diverse issues such as habitats, conservation, extinction, environmental changes and re-wilding
  • Chris Packham reveals himself as a knowledgeable and insightful commentator on art as well as a passionate and sometimes controversial writer on nature and conservation
  • Dashwood’s sculptures are brought to life on the page in sumptuous new photographs
  • Comments by the artist himself and art critics including Celia de la Hey, William Packer and John Russell Taylor provide a contrasting take on the sculptures and the artistic process



Internationally renowned sculptor Geoffrey Dashwood’s bronze birds are notable forthe use of coloured patinas and the elimination of surface detail to emphasise form and movement, thus capturing the innate character of individual species. Born in Hampshire, Dashwood left school at 15 and rejected art college to spend several years as a Forestry Commission keeper. He developed an extensive knowledge of the New Forest’s unique habitats and wildlife and has a particular passion for birds exemplified in this book and the accompanying exhibition at St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery. This collection focuses on birds that might be found in the New Forest in the past, present and future: the black grouse, once common, now locally extinct; species closely associated with the Forest today such as the hobby, nightjar and hen harrier; and those which may yet become established such as the hoopoe, osprey and red kite.

Naturalist, writer and television presenter Chris Packham is a long-time admirer of Dashwood’s work and is uniquely qualified to write on both the sculptures and their subjects. In typically eloquent and passionate style he guides us through thecharacteristics of over forty birds, discussing the modelling skills and powers of observation that make Dashwood’s sculpture such a uniquely ravishing phenomenon.