This group exhibition brings together work by the five artists selected for the R&D stage of Jerwood Open Forest in 2016: Rebecca Beinart, Magz Hall, Keith Harrison, David Rickard and David Turley.
They 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.
The five artists were selected from almost 500 diverse and ambitious proposals in response to an open call to UK-based artists within 15 years of beginning their practice. Artists were invited to submit bold, broad-thinking proposals that explored the potential of forests as a site for art. Each selected artist receives a £2,000 research and development fee to develop their commission proposals, test feasibility and explore potential sites within England’s Public Forest Estate. One artist is selected to receive a further commission of £30,000. All of the artists also participate in a programme of professional development activities as a peer group, including workshops and advisory sessions alongside one-to-one mentoring sessions, and present a group exhibition at Jerwood Space.
The selectors were: 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; and Dr Joy Sleeman, writer, curator and lecturer.
The initiative was launched in 2013 in response to an opportunity to open up the Public Forest Estate to artists in partnership with Forestry Commission England. It responds to a need to support artists, perhaps working in a forest context for the first time, with the professional skill set with which to realise a large scale work, and with access to experienced professionals throughout. Alumni include Semiconductor and Chris Watson.