Jerwood Open Forest


Jerwood Open Forest

Jerwood Space, London

2 November – 11 December 2016

Now in its second edition, Jerwood Open Forest is an artist-centred initiative established by Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Forestry Commission England. The 2016 exhibition examines art in the environment and its potential to facilitate experimentation and engagement. The show is a distillation of five selected projects, which have been explored throughout a six-month period of research, development and mentoring.

Rebecca Beinart, Magz Hall, Keith Harrison, David Rickard and David Turley have expanded upon their original proposals to produce new bodies of work spanning installation, film, ceramics and performance. Whilst projects are diverse in terms of process and materials, they are united by themes such as loss, legacy and transformation.

Jerwood Open Forest seeks to contribute 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 exhibition builds upon the impact of the 2014 initiative, which saw two major new commissions realised including Hrafn: Conversations with Odin composed by Chris Watson and produced by Iain Pate along with spherical sculpture Cosmos by artist duo Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt).

“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)

As part of Jerwood Open Forest, one of the five artists exhibiting at Jerwood Space, London this November will be selected for a major new £30,000 commission to be realised next year in their proposed Forestry Commission England location.

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Exhibition Information

Title: Jerwood Open Forest

Dates: 2 November – 11 December 2016

Address: Jerwood Space, 171 Union Street, London SE1 0LN Opening Times: Mon–Fri from 10am–5pm, Sat & Sun from 10am–3pm Admission: Free

Nearest Tube: Southwark, London Bridge or Borough

Jerwood Visual Arts will host a series of evening events to accompany the exhibition. All events are free – advanced booking is required. For more information please check the website:

Artists – Commission Proposals

Rebecca Beinart is exploring care and loss in changing landscapes, bringing together a collection of stories about lost trees through large-scale performances in Leigh Woods (Bristol) and Ollerton Pit Wood (Nottinghamshire). The performances will open up connections between personal experiences of loss and wider themes such as deforestation, climate change, love, adventure, colonisation and collective memory.

Magz Hall is developing a site-specific radiophonic installation which weaves physical space, the radiophonic ether and the elusive temporality of dreams. Her proposed location is Bedgebury Pinetum which has some of the tallest pine trees in Kent and other Grand Firs (Abies grandis), used in the 1920s as antenna by the US army.

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-industrialised Black Country. Harrison 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 experiments.

David Rickard is looking to collaborate with contemporary English poet SJ Fowler. Rickard’s proposed installation involves returning reclaimed timber to Kielder Water and Forest Park and inscribing prose into the individual wooden posts. The intention is for the cyclic narrative of histories, journeys and returnings to unfold around the installation.

David Turley is responding to a handwritten diary he found in Perth, Australia documenting a man’s period of employment as a forestry worker in Orlestone Forest, outside of Ashford, Kent. Turley has worked with the specifics of this narrative, developing a project that considers the parallel generation of a diary and a forest, seventy years ago, and how his own in eraction with both might impact and connect with a contemporary and future experience.

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