Tree of Life

Entrance to the Tree of Life exhibition at Killerton

The ancient relationship between people and trees is reflected in the historic and ongoing use of trees as a raw material for clothes and shoes and as an inspiration for textiles and dress design.

Follow the exhibition from the the root of the tree to the branches seeing items drawn from the collection that have been inpsired by trees.

New this year visit the handling collection which has samples and designed objects using raw materails from five trees (all of which can be found on the Killerton estate).

See and touch samples of different trees
New handling corridor in the fashion exhibition at Killerton
See and touch samples of different trees

Including pieces, made from barkcloth, from contemporary designer José Hendo.

A traditional natural fibre
A dress made from bark cloth by José Hendo
A traditional natural fibre

Leaves feature heavily in textile design from the 18th to the 20th centuries.

Leaves falling into fashion designs
Beautiful designs in the fashion collection at Killerton
Leaves falling into fashion designs

Pale and pastel colours are traditional in spring clothing, reflecting seasonal blossoms and the promise of new life.

Beautiful patterns blossoming
Intricate designs in fashion
Beautiful patterns blossoming
Beautiful designs were are found on more than just dresses
Decorative items from the collection
Beautiful designs were are found on more than just dresses

Orchards fruits have frequently provided inspiration to designers. Seeds and nuts, such as 'vegetable ivory' from corozo and other palm nuts imported from South America have been used to make buttons and trimmings.

Parts of trees are seen in so many different pieces of fashion
One of the fashion display case at Killerton
Parts of trees are seen in so many different pieces of fashion

Also on display are intricate ink drawings of a dress from the collection by artist Teresa Whitfield.

Intricate artwork by Teresa Whitfield
Artist work on pieces in the fashion colection
Intricate artwork by Teresa Whitfield

The exhibition also features an exciting project by Exeter School of Art (Exeter College) Art and Design students. They have designed work that has been inspired by objects in the fashion collection, exotic trees in the garden and the orchards and wooded landscape at Killerton.

Students inspired by nature at Killerton
Student work at Killerton
Students inspired by nature at Killerton