Christopher D. Ansell is an independent curator, exhibitions producer at the National Memorial Arboretum and visiting tutor at Birmingham School of Art. 


He is interested in how narrative is produced and read within exhibitions, literature and theatre, with particularly focus on the position of figurative depictions within these narratives. 


In his work at the National Memorial Arboretum, this interest manifests itself in exhibitions that explore how conflict, memorialisation and remembrance inform our experience of being human and the human condition. 




Curated Exhibitions


Making Peace

Medals for the Future



Mighty Oaks, Coiled Clay


Wander Lost 

Recent archive

A time and a place

Somebody, Everybody, Nobody

Flags for the Fallen

See CV for more previous exhibitions. 





Recent archive

The Plays

Robert and Virginia

Mighty Oaks, Coiled Clay


Charlotte Barker 

Mark Frith

Found at the corner of the National Forest, the National Memorial Arboretum cares for over 30,000 trees. Its clay soil, for which Staffordshire is world-famous, supports these young trees and allows them to thrive. Planted over the last two decades, and cared for by our team of arborists, the Arboretum’s infant trees are beginning a life that could span hundreds of years.


Mark Frith’s graphite illustrations of ancient oaks from around the UK offer a glimpse into the future of the trees at the Arboretum. The oaks featured, each of which has stood for hundreds of years, have grown from youthful saplings into ancient structures with an enduring beauty and power.  


Charlotte Barker’s ceramic vessels, made from coils and slabs of clay, rest on low oak structures. Constructed from natural materials and using age-old processes, Barker’s contemporary sculptures are shaped from materials which are at the heart of Staffordshire and the Arboretum.

Image: Flotilla by Charlotte Barker. Credit: Graeme Yule