My Ark for Nature

Jonathan Sainsbury’s exhibition ‘My Ark for Nature’ in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Inverness, ran from 2nd – 7th June 2017.  

Jonathan showed seventy five original paintings of wildlife and landscape of Scotland, in a pop-up wooden pavilion, built for the inaugural BBC Countryfile Event in 2016.   Over a thousand visitors from 27 countries world-wide visited. 

Jonathan was present throughout the exhibition, demonstrating and talking with visitors. Besides paintings and drawings, limited edition prints and cards, there was poetry,  film and leaflets from conservation charities, Songbird Survival, the British Dragonfly Society, RSPB.  

Jonathan explains, ‘This is my virtual Ark, like Noah’s’.   ‘Ark’ means both  the vessel in which Noah saved creatures from the flood and a container for something precious.’

‘I want to encourage humans to live carefully with Nature.  In this small space, the Lady Chapel of the Cathedral, I have assembled pictures of places and creatures I care about.  I tried to show how beautiful they are.  When you care about things, you want to protect them. You want others to love them too.’

Visitors were invited to write comments on paper leaves to hang on a bare branch, transforming it into one apparently coming to life.  

Of the comments, 47% of visitors mentioned the high quality of the paintings, one third mentioned the positive affect of the exhibition, the warm welcome they experienced and the way this exhibition opened their eyes to Nature supporting us, as we care for it.  

A selection of visitors’ comments is shown below:

Beautiful and very humbling.  Michigan US

We should love nature as our self

May this calmness and serenity spread all over the world.  India

La nature est merveilleuse!  L’exposition est magnificent duns un lieu magnifique  Cerise sur le gateau nous avons eu de la musique.  Dieu est amore!  C’est un moment de grace!

Thank you for the love you’ve shown them all

Finding all these wonderful pictures reminds us of what it’s worth protecting: our one and only nature.  Berlin

Love all creatures great and small.  Thank you for all.  Blessings and balance.  Wisconsin, USA

Por todos los enfermos del mundo especial por los mas pequeños 

The barbarism and cruelty that exists in our world is brought into perspective in the quiet beauty of this place



Jonathan extends his thanks to all Cathedral staff and congregations, especially to the Reverend Sarah Murray, Provost, and Bishop Mark Strange.

St Andrew’s Cathedral is a Gothic masterpiece, built in 1886-9.  An imposing pink sandstone exterior leads to a warm interior, with its wooden ceiling, stained glass and carvings and a welcoming community.  
For any enquiries about the Cathedral, click here