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Charcoal burning at the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail

Date uploaded: October 20, 2015

Onya McCausland has been commissioned by the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust in partnership with Forestry Commission England to recycle Place by Magdalena Jetelova. The 20ft high sculpture, known locally as 'Giant's Chair' will be transformed into charcoal in homage to artist Magdelena Jetelova's original wishes. Onya McCausland will then use the charcoal to create a new temporary artwork for the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail.

Onya McCausland met with Magdelena Jetelova in Dusseldorf to discuss the burning of the sculpture. Jetelova was inspired by the tradition of charcoaling in the Forest of Dean, originally making plans to burn Place in 1986. However it became apparent that this would be a huge and risky process, and the sculpture remained overlooking the Cannop Valley for 29 years.

"I learned how important this gesture was to her life. Since then, the sculpture has touched many peoples lives so the gesture is a material change that connects to the landscape and with the people that live there. This act of burning is a transformation, not an end“ Onya McCausland.

The gradual decline of this much loved sculpture has led to its decommissioning as a public event and catalyst for new artwork. Onya McCausland will use the charcoal as fuel to burn the red/orange ochre found on the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail, using this to create paintings on the ground along the trail. Artists will be invited to use the remaining charcoal to initiate a series of new drawing works for an exhibition at the Hardwick Gallery, Cheltenham in Spring 2016.

Jetelova will return to the forest to witness the burning event on Friday 23rd October. The burning is expected to smoulder from Friday until Sunday 25th October, with visitors able to watch the charcoal process from a safe distance.

A film has been produced celebrating the sculpture, including personal memories by Forest of Dean locals and Forestry Commission staff. People are also invited to share their own stories and photos of Place. For more information click here.

Place by Magdalena Jetelova, 1986

Place by Magdalena Jetelova, 1986