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City Gallery Peterborough, 17th March-21st May 2017


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Once Upon a Time… an enchanted woodland glade arose from the discarded waste of a thousand bottles, and there, shrouded in that wood, were the fairytales of our childhood. Tales of morality, tales of mystery, tales of good and evil. Perhaps you will discover where the fairy folk and mythical figures abide in a Babylonian tower, where story walls unfold and deforested dryads meet their fate: we are confronted with the consequences of our modern consumerism, ethics and environmental concerns.


Once Upon a Time is a visual arts residency and exhibition led by Art Pop-Up with artists Sue Shields, Sheelah Mahalath Bewley, Sam Roddan, Anu-Laura Tuttelberg and Laura Barnard. The work explores fairytales and folklore, delving into their narratives and symbolism – from Grimm to folklore mythologies. Fairytale conventions – the enchanted woodland, the hidden abode etc – are repurposed, siting these morality tales in contemporary contexts, to look at shifting perceptions of good and evil, such as how environmental concerns are revising views on consumption and mass production.


Afternoon Tea & Talks: Meet the artists and discover more about their inspirations, plus expert talks on the environmentalism framed by the exhibition as the new good & evil, all with free tea & cake!
2.30pm Sunday 7/5 City Gallery Peterborough – FREE, limited capacity so please book in advance, details at:


The project is supported by The Woodland Trust, Natural England, Peterborough Environmental City Trust, Vivacity, the Kiwanis, The Ernest Cook Trust and Mid UK. The education programme is led by Paper Rhino with Mark Grist and Laura Barnard and supported by Peterborough Presents.


Download the new tale ‘Sorrow & the Sapling’ written for the exhibition by Sue Shields Here