This Spring, we are delighted to be collaborating with Phoebe Collings-James, Beaconsfield’s Environmental artist in residence, as part of a nationwide museum project, The Wild Escape. Phoebe has been working with ceramics and collective gathering to explore the multifaceted meanings of the term ‘sustainability’.

31 May 2023 at 6.30pm

Phoebe Collings-James in conversation with Professor Kathryn Yusoff.


Book here

A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None (2019) is a text that proposes a nuanced and radical reading of the environmental crisis and our understandings of the geological age of the ‘Anthropocene’.

“Kathryn Yusoff examines how the grammar of geology is foundational to establishing the extractive economies of subjective life and the earth under colonialism and slavery.” University of Minnesota Press


We celebrated world Earth Day by gathering in a reading group led by Phoebe Collings-James to consider an alternative view of our environmental crisis through reading a section of A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None (2019) by Kathryn Yusoff, before Professor Yusoff’s visit to Beaconsfield.


Collect the fired terracotta plant pot you made at a previous workshop from the gallery, or email to make an appointment, and our gardener will help you find a plant to put in your pot, to grow at home on your windowsill or in your garden.

Beaconsfield’s Wild Escape Events

The Wild Escape campaign, highlights the importance of re-wilding our greenspaces with indigenous plants and animals and we have focussed on connecting the earth through clay. Children and their families have been helping to propogate vital pollinater plant species in Beaconsfield’s garden-yard with horticulturalist Lucy Gregory, as well as learning how to make a ceramic plant pot, with Phoebe Collings-James and Mudgang Pottery, to nurture plants at home.

The more academic aspects of Collings-James’ wider project are not suitable for young children, but our aim is not separate ‘dark’ subject matter from the birds and the bees, but to better understand how we are all bound into one ecology and to trigger that understanding from a young age.

The Wild Escape is the largest ever collaboration between UK Museums and Galleries 

The Wild Escape is a major new project uniting hundreds of museums with schools and families to find nature in museums and galleries. Led by national art charity Art Fund and with support from Arts Council England, hundreds of museums, galleries and historic houses are coming together for the largest ever collaboration between UK museums.

Taking place from January to July 2023, The Wild Escape invites children to find a favourite animal in their local museum or gallery and create an artwork imagining its journey to a natural habitat. The objects, pictures and stories children create will be brought together in a collective work of art that imagines a better future for the wildlife on our doorstep, launched online and in museums on Earth Day 2023.

Look what we did!

Beaconsfield events with Environmental Artist in Residence Phoebe Collings-James Spring 2023

As part of The Wild Escape Beaconsfield will be working with local families and school children to contribute to re-wilding Kennington and Vauxhall in March.

We will be learning to make terracotta plant pots with ceramic artist Phoebe Collings-James and Rachael Nilsson of Mud Gang Pottery Studio, while thinking about where clay comes from, the role that earth or clay plays in our ecologies, and  learning about the importance of providing habitats for wild plants and animals with Lucy Gregory.

23 March 2023, all day 
Local primary school children make Terracotta plant pots with Phoebe Collings-James and Rachael Nilsson.
See: Terracotta plant pots with Phoebe Collings-James and Rachael Nilsson

1 April 2023, 14:00 – 16:00
Morning: Family Volunteering Club help to rewild the Beaconsfield garden yard with artist Phoebe Collings-James, potter Rachael Nilsson and  horticulturalist Lucy Gregory: planting pollinator wild flowers and making clay seed bombs, bug hotels and thumb pots. Fully booked.

Afternoon family drop in: an open invitation to make your own terracotta plant pot, seed bomb or bug hotel with Rachael Nilsson and Lucy Gregory Book on Eventbrite here.

22 April 2023, World Earth Day
12:00 – 17:00
Collect your fired pot and wildflower to grow at home.
15:00 – 16:00
Reading group with Phoebe Collings-James: A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None by Kathryn Yusoff.
‘Kathryn Yusoff examines how the grammar of geology is foundational to establishing the extractive economies of subjective life and the earth under colonialism and slavery. University of Minnesota Press.
Book on Eventbrite here

31 May 2023, 18:30
Phoebe Collings-James in conversation with Professor Kathryn Yusoff about her book A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None (2019)
“A historically grounded and embodied understanding of geological transformation.” —Antipode
Book on Eventbrite here

The Wild Escape is an opportunity to join the urgent conversation about climate crisis and biodiversity loss and look for nature positive solutions, in partnership with leading environmental charities the RSPB and WWF and cultural organisations National Trust and English Heritage.

The Wild Escape is inspired by Wild Isles, a landmark BBC series exploring the flora and fauna of the UK.

Jenny Waldman, Director, Art Fund, said: 

“I’m thrilled that Beaconsfield is joining hundreds of organisations from the Outer Hebrides to Folkestone to connect thousands of children with the natural world through the UK’s truly great museums and galleries. Thanks to the invaluable support of Arts Council England, the Wild Escape will empower families and children across the UK to visit and discover our wonderful museums, whilst taking positive action to picture a better future for our wildlife.”

About Art Fund

Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. It provides millions of pounds every year to help museums to acquire and share works of art across the UK, further the professional development of their curators, and inspire more people to visit and enjoy their public programmes. Art Fund is independently funded, supported by Art Partners, donors, trusts and foundations and the 130,000 members who buy the National Art Pass, who enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic places, 50% off major exhibitions, and receive Art Quarterly magazine. Art Fund also supports museums through its annual prize, Art Fund Museum of the Year. The winner of Art Fund Museum of the Year 2022 is Horniman Museums & Gardens.

The Wild Escape is made possible by lead support from Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants, with additional support from Art Fund

Exhibits from the pickled library of animals at the National History Museum, London. “25 kilometre of shelving holds about 22 million animals preserved in alcohol (industrial methylated spirit)”

The Wild Escape is made possible with support from Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants, with additional support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Kusuma Trust, Foyle Foundation and a group of generous individuals and trusts.