The Story of Connected Life
through Rock, Earth and Community.

Earthbound Tour Dates

Earthbound Touring 2024/25

We’re looking forward to sharing the EarthBound story with many more people as the show tours into 2024-25! Look out here and on our social media for more coming tour dates. Instagram:

– Past Events –

EarthBound Exhibition

National Stone Centre, September 2022

EarthBound Exhibition at the National Stone Centre, DE4 4LS. The Story of Connected Life Through Rock, Earth and Community.
17th July - 11th September 2022
Artists: Kate Bellis, Sally Matthews, Alex Hyde,
Liane Lang, Bernadine Rutter, EJ Lance, Coral Rose Kindred-Boothby

SEM Workshops at the National Stone Centre

Scanning Electron Microscope Brings School Pupils Up Close and Personal with Insects and Microorganisms

The high-tech lens of a precision electron microscope gave Derbyshire schools and community groups a rare opportunity to see the natural world in minute detail in workshops at the National Stone Centre in Wirksworth.

This state-of-the-art-microscope, usually found only in laboratories, is able to magnify objects to many thousands of times their original size, allowing viewers to see microscopic details on insects and microorganisms living on rocks, footpaths and in restored quarries.

The opportunity has been made possible thanks to a collaboration with EarthBound, a project led by local Derbyshire artists Kate Bellis, wildlife photographer Alex Hyde and sculptor Sally Matthews, with support from the Longcliffe Community Fund and Institute of Quarrying.

As part of the EarthBound project, the scanning electron microscope has been made available courtesy of a loan from the Hitachi High-Tech America STEM Educational Outreach Programme, with support from the Royal Microscopical Society, Oxford Instruments, The Institute for Research in Schools, Hitachi High-Tech Europe, and the Natural History Museum.

The Natural History Museum has been working with EarthBound artists to prepare samples and train them to utilise the portable scanning electron microscope so that they can run sessions related to the school curriculum, as well as workshops with local community groups.

Alex Ball, Head of Imaging and Analysis at the Natural History Museum, adds: ”I first met Kate Bellis and Alex Hyde during the exhibition of the Hill, when it was exhibited in Peckham, London. At the time I was really impressed with the community spirit that surrounded the whole project. It’s been great to be involved in the development of EarthBound and I’m so glad that we could send the scanning electron microscope up to Wirksworth.”

Kit (11) - "This has been amazing! I don’t think any of us at this workshop will ever see the small things in the world the same way again."

Harry (12) - "It was amazing! And even better you get to see your own item under the microscope. Fascinating stuff!"

Hamish (12) - "I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the microscope in action. It’s amazing to see such detailed imagery!"

Alastair (15) - "It was incredible to be able to use the microscope myself, an experience I think that many people might never get. I was amazed at what it could do and the levels of magnification that it could achieve."

EarthBound SEM Events Workshops

Dr Alex Ball FRMS,
Head of Imaging and Analysis,
The Natural History Museum,

I'm project lead on a new programme to bring portable Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM) into schools and I've been working with Kate Bellis and Alex Hyde for some time to bring a portable SEM to Wirksworth as part of the Earthbound project.

The initiative is part of Hitachi's Global Education Outreach Programme (Hitachi EOP) and uses a portable SEM which is both easy to operate and flexible. It would give students using it a true experience of using a state-of-the-art scientific instrument in a package compact enough to fit in a school classroom. I have been using these same SEMs for public outreach for almost 15 years and it's long been an ambition to put together a programme to get the microscopes into schools, so the Hitachi EOP offers a fantastic opportunity to do just that.

These Workshops will hopefully be taking place in the Summer and Autumn terms with local Derbyshire school children and community groups.

For more details if interested, Please email:

Photos Copyright of the Trustees of the Natural History Museum

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