Nature

The forests are open for art ideas 

£30,000 up for grabs in Jerwood Open Forest commissioning

Semiconducter low res Laura Hodgson_optJerwood Charitable Foundation and Forestry Commission England announce the second edition of Jerwood Open Forest, an exceptional opportunity for visual artists to propose ideas for a major new £30,000 commission to be realised anywhere within England’s Public Forest Estate, supported by Arts Council England. Jerwood Open Forest facilitates new interactions between artists and forests and opens up new art experiences to a wide public audience, leading a national conversation about how contemporary visual artists engage with the environment today. In October 2014 the inaugural Jerwood Open Forest commissions were unveiled at two forest sites across the UK, reaching a national audience of 70,000. Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt) permanently installed their spherical public sculpture, Cosmos, at Alice Holt Forest in Surrey; and across three evenings in Kielder Water & Forest Park in Northumberland, Chris Watson collaborating with producer Iain Pate produced a multi-channel, spatialised sound installation, Hrafn; Conversations with Odin. “Jerwood Open Forest provided us with a rich opportunity to push our practice in a new direction, take risks and challenge ourselves. We had a brilliant support structure and the resulting work, for us, will be a great legacy.” Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt) There is no brief. This is a call for bold, broad-thinking proposals that explore the potential of forests as sites for art, both in and about the environment. Proposals can be for work in any discipline or medium, temporary or permanent, site-specific or for touring to more than one location. From initial ideas submitted, five artists or collaborations will be selected to each receive a £2,000 research and development fee to develop their proposals over a six-month period. The selection will be 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 Curator of Arts Development, Forestry Commission England
  • Dr Joy Sleeman Writer, curator and lecturer

Each selected artist will be fully supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Forestry Commission England to expand on their concept, assess the viability of their idea and explore potential sites. During this six-month research period the artists will take part in development activities, structured through a core programme of group workshops and advisory sessions which will be experienced as a peer group, and complemented by one-to-one sessions. A curated exhibition presenting the artists' work and exploring broader contemporary debates around critical practice and art in the public realm and the environment will open at Jerwood Space, London in November 2016 as part of the Jerwood Visual Arts programme. One artist will be selected during the exhibition to receive a £30,000 commissioning budget to realise their proposal. “We had an incredible selection of artists creating exceptional new proposals for the first edition of Jerwood Open Forest and we are thrilled to be able to invite artists to make ambitious new proposals in this edition of Jerwood Open Forest. The nations’ forests are incredible environments and we believe contemporary artists’ engagement with them is vital.” Hayley Skipper, Curator of Arts Development, Forestry Commission England “This rewarding partnership with Forestry Commission England was instigated to open up unusual contexts in which artists could develop challenging new ideas and make work for audiences outside of expected artistic spaces. With carefully considered research support and resources on offer, we hope that this opportunity will be of value to a diverse range of artists from different practice backgrounds, including those who may never before have made work in such environments.” Shonagh Manson, Director, Jerwood Charitable Foundation

  • Submission is by online application and artists must be resident in the UK and within fifteen years of graduating from their undergraduate degree or starting their career as an artist. Artists are asked to submit a proposal outlining their idea, a CV, images of current work and an entry fee of £10.
  • Closing date for entries: 5pm Monday 1 February 2016
  • For further information and to enter please visit: jerwoodopenforest.org
  • For all enquiries please contact project managers, Parker Harris

Jerwood Open Forest 2014 - Adam James from Jerwood Charitable Foundation on Vimeo.

Related articles
Nature
90 seconds catch

90 seconds catch

Francesca Page's project #200Sharks highlights the startling number of sharks estimated to be killed by humans every 60 seconds

Nature
Art inspiring action to protect our oceans

Art inspiring action to protect our oceans

Shawn Heinrichs places the human connection at the heart of conservation

Nature
TREEFXXXERS

TREEFXXXERS

When treehugging just isn’t enough