If you go down to the woods today... SARAH MAYHEW promises you’ll discover an exciting new exhibition fusing art and nature.

A specially selected surprise lies in wait where you might least expect to find it.

Art in the Arboretum has thrown its net internationally and brought together a selection of international nature and artists, in doing so fusing the two.

Located off a sleepy country lane six miles from Oxford, a zoologist and 12 artists have all been busily creating work for tomorrow’s Open Day at Oxford University Harcourt Arboretum in Nuneham Courtenay. The exhibition is the culmination of an 18-day residency in which the Land Artists have taken inspiration from one another and their unique, and magical surroundings among the trees.

Artists include: Brigitte Kohl and Djamila Hanafi from France, Annegret Heinl and Isabel Oestreich from Germany, Emil Dobriban and Mira Marincas from Romania, and Ann Rapstoff, Alun Ward, Alison Dalwood, Helen Edwards, Karen Purple and Philippa Jeffery from Oxford.

Land Art originated as a reaction to artificiality, a plastic aesthetic, and the ruthless commercialisation of art in late 1960s America.

One of the most famous Land Art works of art is the 1500ft Spiral Jetty, by American artist Robert Smithson, which protrudes into Great Salt Lake in Utah, USA.

Celebrated British Land Artists include Andy Goldsworthy and Richard Long, whose work is frequently ephemeral in nature. These artists’ works revolve around an inextricable link between landscape and the work of art; as such, the work is often evolutionary, growing, changing, adapting to its surroundings, echoing the nature that surrounds it.

Free from the formality of walls, glasshouses and straight lines Harcourt Arboretum boasts a 37-acre meadow full of wild flowers and a quintessentially English 10-acre woodland; a magical place to spend a day.

The vision behind this exciting, inter-European arty exchange comes from the Director of Oxford’s Magdalen Road Studios, Diana Bell, and Betsy Tyler-Bell of Art in Situ, in France. According to Ms Bell: “An important part of the residency is the encouragement of dialogue between artists from Oxford and their European contemporaries… We hope that this event will be the first of many opportunities for Oxford artists to meet and work with artists from all over Europe.”

And if you can’t make it out of town this weekend, why not catch Branching Out at Oxford’s Town Hall Gallery, featuring work by all of the artists taking part in the Harcourt Arboretum residency. The exhibition runs until July 21, admission is free, 9am-6pm, Monday to Saturday.

* For information about Art in the Arboretum contact the co-ordinator Diana Bell 01865 730110. l Harcourt Arboretum, Nuneham Courtenay, Oxfordshire, OX44 9PX, Tel. 01865 343501. l Oxford Town Hall, St. Aldates, Oxford, Oxfordshire, 01865 815 559. l Art in the Arboretum is sponsored by: PYE Holdings, Oxford; The Ernest Cook Trust; St. John’s College; All Souls College; Dr Brian Loughman; Magdalen College; Wadham College, and Jesus College; Oxford City Council; Modern Art Oxford; Ovada Gallery and Sainsbury’s.