Two bits of news about forest art commissions.

The Jerwood Open, mentioned in an earlier post, has awarded R&D grants to five artists (or groups). They are: Juan delGado, Adam James, Amanda Loomes, collaborators Iain Pate and Chris Watson and artist duo Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt). It strikes me that the first three are all figurative photographic artists and that all five work in new digital media. They were clearly not looking for woodland sculpture. On first pass, looking through all their websites and not knowing what their pitch was, Semiconductor looks to be the most interesting, most committed already to exploring ecology and forests in their work, as in their Heliocentric piece (from which the image above comes).

There will be a curated exhibition of all five developed ideas in January 2014, then one will be awarded £30,000 to fully realise the commission. I’m looking forward to seeing that.

The second bit of news is a partnership between Sound and Music (the contemporary music and sonic art organisation) and the Forestry Commission, in a work for the Forest Art Works programme. (The Jerwood Open is also part of Forest Art Works, by the way.)

This new piece commissioned by Sound and Music is funded by ACE for £106,000. Composed and realised by artists Daniel Jones and James Bulley, ‘Living Symphonies’ is a musical composition which grows like a real forest ecosystem. The piece portrays the thriving activity of the forest’s wildlife, plants and atmospheric conditions, creating a never-ending symphony heard amongst the forest itself. The fund will allow for more audience development work, to increase the reach and impact of the work, including touring to four forests. Watch this space to find out which ones.



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