Artists announced for Jerwood Open Forest

Rebecca Beinart Imagined Geographies 2015. Courtesy of Susan Guy National Trust. Courtesy the artist

Rebecca Beinart Imagined Geographies 2015. Courtesy of Susan Guy National Trust. Courtesy the artist

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

For further information and updates during the research and development period (April-November 2016) please visit: jerwoodopenforest.org