Bringing Art & Landscape together

29th January 2018

Surrey Hills Arts are delighted to announce a grant awarded by Arts Council England of 67K for an exciting new project exploring the natural materials of the Surrey Hills landscape. This exciting project called ‘Surrey Unearthed’ will see ten selected artists create new work along the entire width of Surrey’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which covers a quarter of the county, engaging a wide range of people along the way.

Projects will include monolithic chalk symbols, giant structures formed of hay bales which slowly illuminate as dusk falls, an innovative ceramic installation and an art documentary exploring the process of sand extraction.

Surrey based artist Mary Branson will be exploring the processes of farming and the harvest tradition working with local young people and those who would not normally access the countryside. Mary who was Artist in Residence at the Houses of Parliament in 2014-2016, specialises in creating conceptual large scale installations, using sculpture, light and sound.

Mary comments; “I’ve been walking over Newlands corner since I was a child. I often come here for inspiration, or when dreaming up new works, so to be involved in a project for Surrey Unearthed in such a stunning setting is a real honour..”

There will be an exhibition at Leith Hill Place in July which will bring together the fascinating research and development of all the artists. There will also be opportunities for the public to get involved through a series of talks, workshops and community celebrations, which will coincide with 2018 being the 60th anniversary of the Surrey Hills designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Surrey Hills Arts Programme Manager Ali Clarke says ‘Surrey Unearthed’ is such an exciting project. It will give people a greater insight into the outstanding Surrey Hills landscape and its unique geology. Our natural materials such as sand, chalk and clay have had many uses over time, have shaped local industry, art & craft and architecture and will now be used to create new work.’

Listen to Ali Clarke & Jonathan Parsons talk about the project here

For more information about the project visit