Using art to highlight the madness of Heathrow

Guerrilla garden gnome
Guerrilla Garden Gnome
The plight of a village set to be demolished to make way for Heathrow's third runway is the inspiration behind Hester Berry's exhibition of paintings on show in a London gallery

Not many people had heard of Sipson until it was threatened with demolition. The small village sits in the London borough of Hillingdon on land destined for Heathrow's third runway (for which the Government gave the go-ahead in January this year).

The construction of the new runway will wipe out the entire village of Sipson and its 700 homes.

Artist Hester Berry has made this community living on borrowed time the focus of her first solo exhibition in London at Gallery 118 in Notting Hill (21st - 30th October).

All Berry's work focuses on environmental themes - extreme weather conditions, pollution and eco-friendly initiatives, but the main theme of 'It's All Up In The Air' is the plight of Sipson.

Click on the image above right to view a gallery of Berry's work


Her paintings depict views of Heathrow airport, snapshots of day-to-day-life in the village, scenes of the surrounding landscape and a projection of how the same area would appear if the planned airport expansion goes ahead.

‘I found that relatively few people outside Sipson's catchment area are aware of the threatened obliteration of an entire community,' says Berry. ‘I want the wider public to realise what is being bulldozed in order that Heathrow airport may keep its "hub" status.'

As well as her choice of subject matter, Berry tried to ensure that the carbon footprint of the exhibition is as minimal as possible. She used recycled and recyclable paper, for instance.

‘I'm really trying to get the word out, not just about Sipson, but other environmental threats that we face today,' she says, ‘and the importance of being pro-active when it comes to tackling climate change.'

'It's All Up in the Air' by Hester Berry , 21st - 30th October 2009

Gallery 118, 118 Westbourne Grove, London W11


Laura Sevier is the Ecologist's Green Living Editor

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