Install at Limerick City Gallery of Art, solo exhibition curated by Úna McCarthy, 2017


“Who put Bella in the wych elm?”

“Who put Bella in the wych elm?” is a true story, a murder-mystery involving an unidentified female skeleton found inside a hollow tree in Hagely Wood, Worcestershire 1943. It is a complex tale of murder, mystery and intrigue.

Theories abound as to why she was murdered: ritual associated with witchcraft? Was she a spy or had she connection to German spies? Perhaps she was fleeing an air raid and was unlucky? Despite her description, including a sketch of what she was wearing and dental records being circulated far and wide, nobody came forward with any useful information. Strange chalk graffiti kept appearing in the greater Birmingham area alluding to the case, suggesting that someone knew something more, but the perpetrator was never found. The case, open for 60 years, remains unsolved and the woman’s identity unknown.



This project has been exhibited at:

2015 ‘This Forever [together we raised some hell]’ Occupy Space curated by Noelle Collins

2105 ‘The Plane Invasion’ The Church Gallery, Limerick School of art and Design

2015 ‘Wet’, Hive Emerging, Waterford

2017 ‘Who put Bella in the wych elm?’ Limerick City Gallery of Art curated by Úna McCarthy, Supported by Limerick City and County Council Grants Under the Arts Act.

2017 ‘Greenhouse’ The Devonshire Collective, England curated by Rory Prout

2 thoughts on “Who put Bella in the wych elm?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *