The inaugural Jerwood Open Forest exhibition examines art in the environment and what it has the potential to be in its broadest definition. This unique, multisensory exhibition of new work charts the five selected projects over a six-‐month period of research and development. Juan delGado, Adam James, Amanda Loomes, artist duo Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt) and Chris Watson collaborating with producer Iain Pate, have expanded on the concept of their ambitious proposals, engaging with forest sites across England. In doing so the artists have produced exciting new bodies of work comprising sculpture, film, audio, and performance, which will open on 15 January at Jerwood Space.
Since 1968 the Public Forest Estate has been the testing ground for a diverse range of projects across artforms that explore our relationship with the environment. Jerwood Open Forest is the first time that a national open call invited artists working in any discipline to respond to the possibilities presented by these incredible, diverse landscapes. The initiative seeks to contribute to a national conversation about how contemporary visual artists engage with the environment today.
Visitors to the exhibition will be immersed in the soundscape of a Raven roost through Chris Watson and Iain Pate’s surround sound installation which explores the raven’s role in storytelling and the idea of the forest as a habitat. Semiconductor blend art and science with a sculptural film installation based on data gathered by charting a canopy of trees through a year. Amanda Loomes will show four films that look at the life of the forest, the process of forestry itself, the people involved and their labour. Adam James presents a series of performances created through LARP (live action role-‐play), expanding on an invented social structure developed during his research and development period in Sherwood Pines Forest. Juan delGado reacts to his personal phenomenological experience of the forest with an audio-‐sensory film installation.
Jerwood Open Forest is a new initiative in the Jerwood Visual Arts programme supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation in partnership with Forestry Commission England.
Image: Adam James. Image courtesy of the artist.