Street artist ATM is nationally renowned for painting endangered species street art in urban areas – including a giant mural of a stag beetle on the garden wall of The Hold in Ipswich. And it provides a permanent legacy for the Suffolk’s Green Story exhibition, closing on Sunday
A nationally renowned street artist has painted a giant mural of a stag beetle on the garden wall of The Hold in Ipswich. ATM, whose work usually features wildlife, was invited to create the mural by Suffolk Archives. The subject of the mural was chosen by the results of a public online survey and the unmistakable stag beetle topped the poll. ATM, who aims to draw attention to the plight of endangered species and inspire people to help, painted the mural over the course of a week using brushes and acrylics rather than traditional urban spray cans.
Stag beetles are facing serious decline across Europe, but, as ATM says: ‘Ipswich is a stronghold for stag beetles. They need dead wood to survive, as their larvae spend from 3-7 years feeding on it, specifically oak, before emerging as adults. The lack of dead and dying trees in our modern environment is a major problem for many species. A healthy wood or forest contains 40% dead or dying trees. Unfortunately, the modern concern for tidying up and a misunderstanding of the value of decaying wood deprives the natural world of a vital component.
‘Dead and decaying wood provides food for many other insect larvae, as well as nest holes and hiding places for birds and bats.
To create good conditions for stag beetles, keep dead or dying tree stumps, or plant some oak logs upright 30 cm deep in the ground.’
The mural provides a permanent legacy for Suffolk Archives’ latest exhibition ‘Suffolk’s Green Story: Reflect | Learn | Act’, which looks at Suffolk’s environment past and present, the changes and challenges impacting the local area today and what we can do to make a difference. The exhibition runs until Sunday 18 June 2023 at The Hold on Ipswich Waterfront.
Emily Shepperson, Exhibition and Interpretation Officer at Suffolk Archives, says: ‘Few British insects are quite as impressive and distinctive as the stag beetle, and we are delighted that it was chosen to be the subject of this stunning mural. We are now coming to the time of year when stag beetles begin to appear. You can get involved with stag beetle conservation by telling the People’s Trust for Endangered Species when you spot one.’
Cllr Bobby Bennett, Cabinet Member for Equality and Communities, adds: ‘We are pleased to have worked with ATM on this unique mural. The stag beetle was chosen by Suffolk residents in an online survey and as Ipswich is a stronghold for the stag beetle, it is a perfect fit!
‘The mural creates a legacy for our current exhibition, which explores several themes ranging from the natural environment to agricultural change and things that we can all do to slow down climate change and choose environmentally friendly ways of living.’
Suffolk’s Green Story: Reflect | Learn | Act runs until Sunday 18 June 2023 at The Hold on Ipswich Waterfront. Entry is free and open to all ages. Exhibition opening times are 9:30am – 4:30pm, Monday to Friday, with late opening until 9pm on Thursdays. 10am – 4pm Saturday and Sunday. You can book free tickets for the Suffolk’s Green Story: Reflect | Learn | Act exhibition by visiting: www.suffolkarchives.co.uk. To take part in the Great Stag Hunt, visit ptes.org. Also, visit @atmstreetart on Instagram.
Featured image supplied by ATM