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Jerwood Open Forest

Date uploaded: May 13, 2013

Jerwood Visual Arts (JVA) and Forestry Commission England have announced Jerwood Open Forest, an opportunity for visual artists to propose ideas for a major new £30,000 commission to be realised anywhere within England's Public Forest Estate.

There is no brief. The forests are open for artists’ ideas. 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.

Launching the initiative, the partnership between Jerwood Visual Arts and Forestry Commission England brings together the expertise of two esteemed national organisations. Jerwood Open Forest will facilitate new interactions between artists and forests and will open up new art experiences to a wide public audience. It aims to lead a national conversation about how contemporary visual artists engage with the environment today.

The selection panel will include leading practitioners and project partners:

  • Dan Harvey artist
  • Michaela Crimmin Co-founder, Culture+Conflict
  • Tania Kovats artist
  • Shonagh Manson Director, Jerwood Charitable Foundation
  • Hayley Skipper Curator of Arts Development, Forestry Commission England

From initial ideas submitted, five artists will be selected to receive a £2,000 Research and Development fee to develop their proposals over a six-month period. Each artist will be fully supported by Jerwood Visual Arts and Forestry Commission England to expand on the concept, assess the viability of the idea and explore potential sites through this phase. This research process will culminate in a curated exhibition at JVA at Jerwood Space which will present the artists' work and explore broader contemporary debates around critical practice and art in the public realm and the environment. During the exhibition one artist will be selected to receive a £30,000 commissioning budget to realise their proposal.

Forestry Commission England holds the key to a unique opportunity. It is the guardian of unrivalled contexts for artists to work in through the physical forests it stewards. Its teams have also developed a valuable knowledge bank of skills, science and perspectives through their work. We will be looking for ideas that engage with this depth of context and the opportunities it could present. This initiative is also willing to take a risk. We are looking for strong ideas, not necessarily proven experience of working on this scale or in this context. Through this new partnership, we can provide the right support for an artist to make a leap in their practice.” Shonagh Manson, Director, Jerwood Charitable Foundation

This is the first time ever that we have invited artists to respond to the forests across England that the Forestry Commission manages. We are hugely excited to see how artists might respond to this open invitation. There are no constraints on the type of proposal that we are looking for; we are looking for projects that really connect with this unique opportunity.” Hayley Skipper, Curator of Arts Development, Forestry Commission England

Jerwood Open Forest is open for applications. Entry 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.

Closing date for entries: 5pm, 28th May 2013

For all enquiries please contact project managers, Parker Harris:
Tel: 01372 462190
Email: [email protected]

Click here for further details.