Artists announced for Jerwood Open Forest

Five artists selected to develop proposals for major new commission

[caption id="attachment_8658" align="aligncenter" width="714"]Rebecca Beinart - 'Imagined Geographies', 2015 Rebecca Beinart - 'Imagined Geographies', 2015. (Photo courtesy of Susan Guy / National Trust)[/caption] From an excellent response of almost 500 diverse and ambitious proposals, five artists have been selected to develop proposals for a major new £30,000 commission. Rebecca Beinart, Magz Hall, Keith Harrison, David Rickard and David Turley will each receive a £2,000 research and development fee with which to expand on the concept of their proposals, test feasibility and explore potential sites within England’s Public Forest Estate. Each artist will benefit from a six-month research and development period and take part in a group exhibition in November at Jerwood Space, London. In addition to being supported by the teams at Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Forestry Commission England, they will attend a programme of developmental activities as a peer group including workshops and advisory sessions alongside one-to-one mentoring sessions. The artist selected for the commission will be announced towards the end of 2016. For this second edition of Jerwood Open Forest, artists from across the UK and within 15 years of beginning their practice were once more invited to submit bold, broad-thinking proposals that explore the potential of forests as a site for art. The initiative contributes to a national conversation about how contemporary visual artists engage with the environment today, and debates around critical practice and art in the public realm. ‘The Arts Council is thrilled to be supporting the second edition of the Jerwood Open Forest. It is a great model for commissioning considered and innovative new work, allowing emerging artists the space and time to test new ideas under the stewardship of Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Forestry Commission England. Through this partnership artists can access the unique and diverse Public Forest Estate in England, it is a wonderful way to increase access to and enjoyment of visual art across the country.’ Jo Baxendale, Relationship Manager Visual Arts, Arts Council England The selection has been made by leading practitioners and project partners: Katherine Clarke artist and founding partner of muf architecture/art; Neville Gabie artist; Shonagh Manson Director, Jerwood Charitable Foundation; Hayley Skipper National Arts Development Programme Manager, Forestry Commission England; Dr Joy Sleeman writer, curator and lecturer. ‘The range of imaginative approaches to forest environments represented by the five shortlisted artists is indicative of the rich inspiration such places inspire. The artists will each be embracing aspirations to bring new experiences into forests – whether by engaging with their human history, their relationship with their urban surroundings or through an intimate engagement with individual trees.’ Joy Sleeman, selector Selected Artists Rebecca Beinart will explore the relationship between care and loss through an ambitious piece of live work bringing together a collection of stories about lost trees, developed through research collected around specific forests. The audience will experience a series of one-to-one encounters, which draw upon connections between personal experiences of loss and wider themes such as deforestation and collective memory. Rebecca completed an MA in Arts and Ecology at Dartington School of Art (now part of Falmouth University) in 2008. Her projects, which are often collaborative, explore the crossover between art, ecology and politics, taking the form of live events and interventions in public places. Recent work includes a commission for the National Trust in Staffordshire, with Katy Beinart, entitled Imagined Geographies (2015), and Bureau of Urban Wilds, a commission for UP Projects in London (2013-14). Sound and radio artist Magz Hall will develop an interactive trail of radio transmissions through the forest, playfully enabling trees to whisper to each other, and re-engaging with a sense of technological enchantment so intrinsic to the early radio experiments that make up much of her research interests. She envisages members of the public recording their own secrets and dreams into simple radio hardware disguised within a tree. Magz is a senior lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University UK, and a founder of London’s arts radio station Resonance FM. Her audio work has been exhibited in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the British Museum, Tate Britain, and internationally. In 2015 she completed her PhD at CRISAP (Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice), University of the Arts London. Keith Harrison proposes a multi-faceted performative sculpture bringing together industrial forces within the context of the forest, inspired by his upbringing in the heavily post-industrialized Black Country. Keith will explore constructing a series of mud jumps through the forest, working with BMXers; from the same mud he will build a prototype car to be launched from a monumental ramp as a public event. Keith is particularly fascinated by the potential for the direct physical transformation of clay from a raw state utilising industrial and domestic electrical systems in a series of time-based public experiments. He completed his MA in Ceramics and Glass at Royal College of Art, in 2002. From 2012 - 2013 he undertook a Ceramics Residency at the V&A Museum, and has exhibited widely, most recently at KARST, Plymouth, and at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff. David Rickard’s proposal Returnings, a vast forest installation built with timber collected from across the UK, will explore the cyclical journey of the forests’ trees. Each piece of ‘reclaimed’ wood will be imprinted with details of its previous function and location, thereby recording a network of the past lives of timber elements within the depths of their original environment. Rickard studied Architecture at the Auckland School of Architecture in New Zealand, before studying Fine Art at Brera Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan and Central Saint Martins, London. Investigations into both the boundaries between the disciplines of architecture and fine art, and the materiality of our surroundings, underlie his practice. Selected exhibitions include Flags, Serra di Giardini, Venice; Obsessive Compulsive Order, CØPPERFIELD, London and Round the Clock, 54th Venice Biennale, Venice. David Turley’s proposal centres on a ‘Men of the Trees Forestry Diary’ from 1947, unearthed at an auction in Australia, which documents the daily life of a man planting trees in Orlestone Forest outside Ashford, Kent. Turley hopes to engage with the social and cultural events described in the notebook’s pages, exploring the potential for site engagement through its specific historical narrative. Born in Australia, Turley moved to London in 2011 after completing an MA in Art in Public Space at RMIT, Melbourne. He has exhibited in solo and group shows in London, and his work is held in private collections in Australia, Japan and the UK. For further information and updates during the research and development period (April-November 2016) please visit:

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