Almost Invisible Angels haunt Tintern Abbey

A ghostly installation of whitened sticks, nestling in daisies and frequented by the little creatures it subtly celebrates will grace the ruined nave of Tintern Abbey, the dramatic location for the launch of the Wye Valley River Festival this week.

Created in collaboration by award winning author and environmentalist Jay Griffiths and Bristol-based artist-campaigner from Bishopston, Gaby Solly, the piece proposes that:

Insects are – truly – the angels

Griffiths’ message draws attention to the dramatic die-off of insect populations in the Wye Valley, where river pollution from farm sewage and the use of pesticides threatens the fragile ecosystems which could, in turn, devastate the food chain upon which all creatures thrive.

They do not take the title of angels, being by nature bashful and unassuming, they go by other names – firefly, bee, ant, caddisfly – I wish that everyone who said they believed in angels, would actually believe in insects.” Jay Griffiths

Almost Invisible Angels questions our human relationship with Earth’s threatened biodiversity and asks us to pause and reflect in the ruins of Tintern Abbey, itself threatened by the warming planet and unpredictable weather patterns.

Vicki Hird from the Sustainable Food Trust and author of Rebugging the Planet says:

“Hammered by pollution, climate change and lost habitats, insect numbers and diversity are crashing everywhere. From worms to wasps, beetles to butterflies, these angels need everyone to act, to demand far stronger policies, to eat differently, and to re-bug the planet everywhere.”

Jay Griffiths’ and Gaby Solly’s installation will form the centrepiece of a short film narrated by Mark Rylance, filmed in the woods around Tintern and in the Abbey itself, due to be released on 20th June, at the start of Insect Week.

Almost Invisible Angels is part of XR Writers Rebel’s Paint the Land initiative, that invites writers and artists to work with words, a local landscape impacted by climate change, and materials that will not compromise the location but perhaps enhance it.  Anyone with a powerful ecological message can take part and contribute to a growing artistic story in which we are all players.

For further information about Paint the Land go to the Writers Rebel @PainttheLand website.