The magical beauty of moths are the focus of a new exhibition coming to Kestle Barton next month.

Sarah Gillespie is sharing her handprinted mezzotints of moths from September 12 - October 31.

The series came about due to Sarah's desire to attract attention to the terrible plight of the moth whose numbers have dropped 60-70 per cent since the 1970s and whose survival is vital for numerous bird populations.

Sarah said: "If what I have been given is the ability to focus, to pay attention, and if there is even the remotest chance that in attending lies an antidote to our careless destruction, then that’s what I have to do – to focus.

"It’s not enough but it’s necessary."

'Moth' represents the culmination of an eighteen month long project, researching, drawing and engraving common English moths.

All twenty-four of the resulting mezzotints and a selection of silverpoint drawings will be seen together for the first time.

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Sarah's choice of mezzotint as a medium, a labour intensive tonal engraving technique much used in the 17th, 18th, and early 19th century, is key to the nocturnal quality of these works.

Only by means of the meticulous and gradual scraping and polishing of the copper mezzotint plate has she managed to create such soft gradations of tone and rich and velvety blacks.

At times revealing themselves in all their astounding detail and at others disappearing altogether, Gillespie’s moths hum quietly of what may well soon be gone for good.

Sarah started work on the series during an artist's residency at Kestle Barton in 2012 and so it ties in perfectly with being at Kestle Barton which also has its own impressive moth population with various research having taken place into it.

There will also be a book published to accompany the series for those unable to make the exhibition.