Trees A Crowd


Polly Morgan: Form and colour rather than life and death

Season 1, Ep. 2

Polly Morgan is a modern artist known for her sculptural taxidermy. Growing up in pastoral Oxfordshire, she’s been surrounded by animals from an early age. After moving to London to read English literature at university, she took a one-day course in avian taxidermy in a bid to decorate her new home. Polly’s interest accelerated from hobby to career when one of her pieces - “Rest a Little on the Lap of Life”, a white rat curled up inside a champagne glass - was sold to Vanessa Branson. Since then, her work has featured in an abundance of galleries including Banksy’s Santa Ghetto exhibition. In this in-depth interview, Polly talks us through her artistic techniques from observing and washing animal skins to forming casts, describes the feeling of creative loneliness that inspired her latest collaborative exhibition, and explains how her work is reinventing traditional victorian taxidermy - by creating abstract art that focuses on “form and colour rather than life and death.” N.B. We apologise for the reduced sound quality of this episode due to circumstances outside our control.

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Dr William C. Tweed: The secret histories of John Muir’s Giant Redwoods

Season 2, Ep. 18
Dr William C. Tweed is a lover of Big Trees - the Giant Redwoods of California to be precise. An historian and naturalist, he has a career spanning over 30 years working for the US national park service, and after holding several roles at the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, spent a decade as its Chief Naturalist. Whether it’s describing what a Giant Redwood is through a comparison to the miniscule mosquito, or a deep dive into numerous secret histories of mankind's fascinations with these trees, William will have you captivated, falling in love with, and longing to hug, the giant sequoia. In exploring the tree’s many wonderful evolutionary features, and the serene images he paints of the Sierra Nevada, William explains that our passion for sequoias starts with our love of that which is “big, and old, and rare”, and then continues to grow tall. William explores the history of the “Father of the National Parks” himself, John Muir - how his religious upbringing inspired his writing (his works serving as a “secular Bible” for those devoted to nature) - and how the Sierra Club is still following firmly in Muir’s footsteps today. Among William’s teachings are plenty of digressions and distractions - charming moments of a mind as fascinated by nature today as he has ever been.For further information on this and other episodes, visit: