Turtle Dove Conservation – Exhibition


Pencil sketch of a Turtle Dove

In preparing to make a Turtle Dove sculpture I’ve done lots of sketches – Turtle Dove sketch in pencil

Last year I went to a talk about the Turtle Dove Project in North Yorkshire and was really inspired by the work that was being done.

At the time I really wanted to do something to help too, and began to make my surrounds a little more Turtle Dove friendly.  I have wondered if it has made any difference at all – unrealistically I had wanted a flock of Turtle Doves to arrive immediately!  But I know these things take time.

Clay maquette for Turtle Dove sculpture

Working on clay maquettes as part of the process and planning for my sculpture to be carved in stone

When I was contacted recently by the Forestry Commission about an exhibition and auction of artwork to raise funds for Turtle Dove conservation I was really keen to be involved.  It was something definite and immediate that I could help with, and contribute to this brilliant project.

Clay maquette for my Turtle Dove sculpture

Clay model for my Turtle Dove sculpture – work in progress

The idea is to continue its work in trying to bring this iconic bird back from the brink of extinction.  To help raise vital funds for the initiative an exhibition of Turtle Dove and woodland bird art and sculpture is planned.  Each artist is also donating a piece for auction at the end of the exhibition.

What a treat – making sculpture and at the same time helping Turtle Doves!

Work in progress - clay Turtle Dove model

Modelling in clay initially, to be used as a guide when carving my Turtle Dove in stone

The exhibition will be held at the Courtyard in Dalby Forest during September and October this year.

Turtle Dove Exhibition and Auction

If you would like to know more about The North Yorkshire Turtle Dove Project please contact Richard Baines.


My Turtle Dove sculpture for the exhibition




  1. Comment by Ellen Abbott:

    it will be lovely in stone.

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      I’m looking forward to carving the Turtle Doves, haven’t decided which stone to use yet, though I think one could be in marble, what do you think?

  2. Comment by Caroline:

    Oh, Jennifer, what a wonderful project. And it strikes me (though this will be obvious to most) what an accomplished and gifted artist and clay-worker you have to be before you even pick up your sculptor’s chisel! We must go to Dalby Forest at some point … but have usually been driving on to Bempton in one direction to see the Puffins, or to Kilburn, Rievaulx or Mount Grace in the other.

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      Well, they’re really lovely places to visit – I love Bempton too, and all the places you’ve mentioned. The clay model isn’t always necessary for a sculpture, and clay is so different to shape – I really wanted to work out what was distinctly Turtle Dove as opposed to any Dove – as when carved in stone you don’t have the advantage of colouring to identify. It will be a balance of getting what detail I put in (to ensure Turtle Doveness) with the quiet minimal feel that I would like. The clays help with this as I can rub out, add on, and take away repeatedly in experiment.

  3. Comment by Caroline:

    Thank you, Jennifer, for this insightful explanation into your practice… Fascinating to think about the special importance of shape (and jizz) when colour is not a factor.

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      I’m still working on the intricacies of it – I’m thinking too of the many illustrations of animals I’ve seen in old natural history books, which were drawn from quick views, or memory and really shaped how a creature was thought to be – later we learn (because we can film them and photograph them) their biology and look is something else – yet there is a real charm in some of these early depictions I think.

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