The Decline of Eels


A fascinating series of relief editioned original prints, primarily created using wood, lino and stencils, by renowned print maker Julia Manning RE, SWLA. Bringing to life what she calls the 'incredible – implausible sometimes! – life of Eels.'

Guided by international eel expert, Andy Don, and focusing on areas of Somerset, Manning has learnt about these fascinating creatures and the challenges that they face. Though the medium of print, she has visualised an incredible visual story of eel migration and metamorphis.

The European eel is classified as 'Critically Endangered' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and appears on their 'Red List' of threatened species. Since 1970, the numbers of juvenile eels entering European rivers has declined by more than 95%. These Anguillid eels have been around for about 80 million years.

These eels stay in England's fresh waters for many years, up to 25, before feeling the pull of the sea and heading out on their final migration. These upstream migrations are often less than straightforward because of man-made obstructions such as weirs that are used to regulate and control river flows. Special 'eel passes' have been designed and can be installed to overcome these obstacles. Other pressures have been man's greed by illegal exploitation (smuggling millions of glass eels to Asia), climate change (the shifting of the currents on which the Leptocephali (eel larva) drift and rely) and invasive parasites introduced from abroad.

In addition to the prints and their explanations, there will be drawings and supporting materials to show the artistry and craftsmanship involved in making the prints and some of the research that was undertaken.

The story of the these eels seem to resonate across all species. Local wildlife can truly show its connection to the global world.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Manning will be giving a talk about the project on Tuesday 23rd April. Tickets are available on the Nature in Art website (under 'Talks & Events)

Entry into this exhibition is included in the admission price to the museum.

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The Decline of Eels


Nature in Art, Wallsworth Hall, Twigworth, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL2 9PA
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Tel01452 731422

Opening Times

Season (9 Apr 2024 - 28 Apr 2024)

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