The Wild Escape: Get Wild About Surrey – The Totem Pole

the wild escape

The amazing wildlife totem pole was commissioned as part of a project for Surrey Museums linked to a national initiative from Art Fund called, The Wild Escape. Its purpose was to connect families and schools creatively with museums and galleries whilst discovering more about our UK’s native wildlife.

Get Wild About Surrey

Six Surrey museums worked together to make this national initiative available for families, schools and the wider museum group countywide, with support from Surrey Museums Partnership. We called it, “The Wild Escape: Get Wild About Surrey”.

Through a series of events and working with different organizations, Get Wild About Surrey raised awareness of the diversity of habitats across the county of Surrey, inspired by wildlife in the artefacts, artwork and archives of museum collections.


The Totem Pole

To continue the important conversations around caring for our natural environment, the lead museums wanted to create something that encouraged curiosity and respect of our wildlife. Something to be shared countywide.

They commissioned Surrey chainsaw artist, Ella Fielding, to create a beautiful, interactive totem pole sculpture of wildlife from the project as the focal point of a travelling exhibition. They also commissioned Surrey film-maker Jarod Parker to capture Ella’s artistic process as an inspiration to others. You can watch the film above or by clicking the link to take you to YouTube.

The Get Wild About Surrey exhibition aims to use the totem pole sculpture alongside a selection of wildlife in the museum collections, raising awareness of Surrey’s unique landscape and the biodiversity it supports. It aims to be a reminder of the fragility of our environment and to consider our human impact.

The hope is to inspire all who see, touch, (smell!) and play with the sculpture to feel a connection with the natural world through the natural materials it has been carved from.

Find out more about The Wild Escape Get Wild About Surrey project here:

The Wild Escape: Get Wild About Surrey – Surrey Museums and Galleries