Exotic Guests and Alien Invaders at Quarry Bank

The main bed of the Quarry Bank garden

Quarry Bank is a place with dramatic natural features and a stunning garden and estate. However, where cultivated exotic guests in the gardens create a beautiful landscape; other unwelcome flora and fauna are seen as invaders taking over our ’native’ gardens, woodlands and river. This exhibition, running from 24 September - 20 November 2016, explores how Quarry Bank manages this contradiction. Why is a rhododendron inside the garden a cherished specimen whereas outside the fence it can be an invasive pest?

Many of the plants that we admire have travelled round the world to be here. These exotic guests, brought in by plant collectors to enhance and brighten our gardens, have taken root in our hearts and are inextricably entwined with our perception of the natural world.  

In some cases however, these exotic guests have characteristics which have allowed them to flourish in a way which was not anticipated, and they have spread into the wild, outcompeting other plants and becoming invasive.

This Giant Hogweed artwork will feature alongside new commissions from artists Nick Jordan and Jacob Cartwright
Colour drawing of Giant Hogweed

In this exhibition, find our more about the plants and animals which are considered invasive and what the National Trust does to manage them within our landscapes. Then take another view through the words and art of Nick Jordan and Jacob Cartwright, authors of of Alien Invaders: A Guide to Non-Native Species of the Britishe Isles Volume 1. This publication, a cross pollination of fact and fiction, takes the form of an illustrated natural guide and is a thought provoking look at the language and rhetoric used about these plants.

This sketch by Nick Jordan and Jacob Cartwright will be on display along with other artwork
An envelope sketch showing a child dwarfed by Giant Hogweed

Alongside the artwork will be a rogues gallery of invasives, a ranger's desk where you can explore this subject in more depth and information about the parasites which can invade humans.

We are also excited to have the opportunity to showcase 'The Rising' a contemporary art film by Nick Jordan. You can watch the trailer for 'The Rising' below. 

" The Rising is a short film which depicts an invasive alien species, Giant Hogweed, as it rapidly colonizes a lowland riverbank in northern England. Part natural history, part sci-fi, The Rising features an atmospheric soundtrack score by Lord Mongo, and presents the alien interloper as both a dangerous, toxic menace and impressive, natural wonder."
- Visual artist and film maker Nick Jordan


Upcoming events

Arts and Wonder Season

Sun 22 Oct 2017
10:30-16:30
Arts and Wonder is a season of creative responses to the themes of work, leisure and the legacy of industrialisation. Supported by Trust New Art.

Meteorites & Fireballs - Cosmodome

Mon 23 Oct 2017
11:00-11:30
Step into space and learn about astronomy in our interactive inflatable Cosmodome this October half term. Run by the physics outreach department from the University of York. As part of Manchester Science Festival.

Meteorites & Fireballs

Mon 23 Oct 2017
11:00-16:00
Inspired by the Greg's interest in space and science, join us for science family fun at Quarry Bank this October half term. As part of Manchester Science Festival.

Bob-in Sessions

Mon 23 Oct 2017
11:30-12:15
Join us at 11:30am on Mondays and 2:30pm each day Tuesday-Friday for a special talk or tour from one of our teams.

Spooky Tours

Fri 27 Oct 2017
18:30-19:15
Join us if you dare for an even scarier, interactive spooky tour of the Mill, performed by the nrg theatre company and students from Staffordshire University.

Behind the scenes - Machines

Sat 18 Nov 2017
14:00-15:00
One Saturday a month we invite you join us as we look at the Mill and its machinery in more depth. Led by our expert team, this is a real opportunity to find out more about this fascinating place.