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Visitor Centre Exhibitions

Durham University Botanic Garden has a rich connection with artists and their work, with many sculptures hidden around the garden. To this end we utilise the Coffee-Shop in our Visitor Centre to exhibit art, paintings and photographs by local artists.

We frequently host exhibitions of different artists’ work throughout the year. So after a walk around the garden why not ponder the paintings with a hot drink or over an afternoon snack? Many of the artists offer their work for sale, if a piece should catch your eye.

If you are interested in exhibiting work of your own, please contact the Retail Office by calling 0191 334 9357.

Alternatively, you can also book your exhibition through our booking form below by selecting "Botanic Garden" in the relevant field:

Book your exhibition

Current Exhibitions:

Here you can find details of current exhibitions being displayed in the Garden’s Visitor Centre.

September 2018 - Ewan Anderson

Ewan was educated at Dulwich College and St Edmund Hall, Oxford, between which he did his National Service in the Royal Navy. He taught at two schools and a Teacher Training College before being appointed to the Geography Department at Durham University in 1979. During his academic career he worked in 80 countries and produced 18 books and 250 papers. After retiring as the Professor of Geopolitics in 2001, he was Visiting Professor at the Universities of York, Exeter and York St John but was able to focus chiefly upon his lifelong interest in trees.

Ewan draws trees in the field, using principally pencils and pastels, and tries to blend the botanical with the artistic. He was commissioned to draw the Heritage Trees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in preparation for the Year of the Tree in 2013. He is tree artist for a range of organisations including: the Durham Wildlife Trust, the Sidmouth Arboretum, Gainsborough's House and the York Museum Trust, to all of which charities he donates his drawings as cards. He has held over 20 exhibitions at a variety of places including the Royal Horticultural Society Gardens, Wisley, the National Memorial Arboretum and Durham Cathedral. In 2015, two of his drawings won first prizes in competitions in the United States. As in the past two years, he will be an Artist in Residence at the Nature in Art Gallery and Museum in 2017.

Trees may be considered distinguished for many reasons including beauty, size, longevity, strength, special features, associations, location and history. In this exhibition, drawings of trees from gardens run by a variety of charitable organisations, ranging from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to the Nature in Art Gallery will be used to illustrate these various characteristics.

October 2018 - Bob Turnbull

Based in Seaton Delaval, Northumberland, Bob works from a small studio within his home. Northumbrian born, he has been both a semi and professional artist for over 40 years, after studying Fine Art at King’s College (now Newcastle University).An experimental artist who moves from almost photographic to semi-abstract and prefers to paint local industrial, harbour and shipping scenes, with the occasional sea and landscape. Bob has exhibited in over 50 galleries in the UK and USA with worldwide sales, working in oil, acrylic and inkwash with a range of limited edition giclee prints.

November 2018 - Alison Gall

'Artwave North' is an enthusiastic group of artists based in North East England who are always experimenting with new media and continually producing new works. They have exhibited throughout the region for the past few years, and three times before at the Botanic Garden. Throughout November their works will be for sale, together with a variety of cards.

January 2019 - John Dolan

Local Artist John Dolan studied art at Backhouse Art College from the age of 14. On leaving education, John served his time as an apprentice, qualifying as an Underground Maintenance Engineer until he left the job to become a 'trouble shooter' at Wear Glass Works (Pyrex). After 10 years in that role John worked as the Technical Director at Washington Arts Centre, latterly moving on to teach art and pottery until starting his own business teaching art which continues today - 52 weeks of the year!

To celebrate the NHS 70th Birthday this year, John has donated 70 pieces of his work to County Durham & Darlington NHS FT Charity (No. 1053467). This work will be sold to help our Chemotherapy Appeal at the University of North Durham

To find out more about this exhibition or learn more about the artist, please contact