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Greater Horseshoe Bat Project

Back in May I had the privilege of taking part in another of the guided walk organised by the Devon Guild of Craftsmen with the Devon Wildlife Trust. Last year this sparked off my Magnificent Mires work. This year the focus is on the Greater Horseshoe Bat Project.

Greater horseshoe are the UK’s biggest bat with a wingspan of almost 40cm. They were once common across southern England but changes in land-use such as urban development  and a move away from cattle grazed pastures and hay meadows has led to their disappearance from much of the countryside.

Goals for the GHB Project: “Working across Devon, the project is looking to secure the future of this species in the county. Ensuring the habitats needed are present, that our bat knowledge is better and that the people of Devon know about the species and so are better able to look after it.”

 

Bat event at the DEvon Guild

Having been on the daytime walk to learn about the bats habitat, and an evening walk with the bat detectors, it was requested that I produced some Greater Horseshoe Bat artwork in time for a Bat event at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen in August. I was very happy to do so seeing as the Greater Horseshoe Bat is in keeping with my Devon Hedgerow work. The bats need trees to roost in, but also make use of hedgerows for hunting and navigation. They are more likely to be found at the edges of woodlands rather than in the dense wood. A mixture of woodland, open flower rich meadows plus hedgerows with standing trees are what the bats need.

 

Greater Horseshoe Bat silk aquatint prep

Having done some sketching, I worked with Silk Aquatint in order to get a nice velvety black as a back drop for the bats. I also gathered and pressed some plant materials that would be in keeping with the woodland edges the bats would like. The larger works I produced were variations using silver birch twigs for a bat to fly through. The twigs produced interesting ghost prints and a palimpsest of impressions. Framing options

Print Preparation

included in-frame derails beyond the printing paper. Two smaller images were also editioned with a glaze of transparent colours over the mid-night blue. One plate showing a bat hunting a moth, and another of a group of bats in the maternity roost.

Here are a sequence of photos to give an insight to my working process…

Plant preparation

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In September there were over 20 Bat Festival events across the county.

In early 2019 new maps showing all the Greater Horseshoe Bat data recorded by this years bat surveys will be added to the Devon Bat Project website.

Greater Horseshoe Bat being printed.

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Greater Horseshoe bat. Lynn Bailey

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Greater Horseshoe Bat silk aquatint prep.

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Hunting being printed. Lynn Bailey.

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In frame detail. Lynn Bailey

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Colour tests for Horseshoe Bats.

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Lynn Bailey

Through my artwork I look to say something about the environment - explore how we interact, use, abuse and collaborate with the natural world around us. This has taken me to increasingly focus on the small ubiquitous and often reviled weeds and bugs that form the foundation and engine-room of ecosystems. I use a wide range of printmaking techniques – both traditional and innovative, often creating complex one off prints. ****** Co-founder and director of Double Elephant Print Workshop since 1997. Originally trained in Conservation of Prints and Drawings 1980 -1982. Studied Fine art at University of Plymouth 1993 -1996.

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