The second edition of Jerwood Open Forest opens to the public next week, presenting five artists’ propositions for a 2017 commission that will be housed in their forest of choice throughout the UK.
The project, happening as a collaboration between Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Forestry Commission England (under whose guardianship the chosen forest must be), is focussed on art in the environment, and its ability to bring about renewed engagement and thought. Each project has already been developed over a six month period.
Personal narratives find their way into multiple proposals, with Keith Harrison exploring his childhood in the Black Country — post industrialisation — and David Turley taking his cue from the journal of a forest worker in Kent, and reflecting on the developing story of this one man alongside the growth of the forest, considering also its possible future.
Literature also comes into the pieces more directly, the New Zealand-born, British-based artist David Rickard planning to work with English poet SJ Fowler. For this piece, Rickard looks to return reclaimed wood to Kielder Water and Forest Park, marking the wood with prose and exploring the idea of cycles within nature and history.
Magz Hall and Rebecca Beinart both plan to work very directly with the space of the forest itself, Hall developing a radiophonic installation which will traverse the physical area of the forest, as well as touching on the realm of dreams and the “radiophonic ether”, while Beinart would create a performance, telling a collection of stories about lost trees, exploring themes of deforestation, adventure and climate change.
‘Jerwood Open Forest’ runs from 2 November until 11 December at Jerwood Space, London