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Living symphonies Living symphonies Jerwood Open Forest Jerwood Open Forest

The first edition of Jerwood Open Forest

Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt) and Chris Watson collaborating with producer Iain Pate have been awarded two major commissions totalling £60,000 through the inaugural Jerwood Open Forest initiative.

The announcement was made at Jerwood Space, London on 11 February 2014 by selector and artist, Tania Kovats. The selected proposals will be produced and realised within England’s Public Forest Estate, continuing a national conversation about how contemporary visual artists engage with the environment today.

To find out more about Jerwood Open Forest and follow the progress of the two winning commissions visit

Project background

Jerwood Open Forest is a new initiative in the Jerwood Visual Arts programme launched by Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Forestry Commission England, now with additional support from Arts Council England.

Since 1968 the Public Forest Estate has been the testing ground for a diverse range of projects across artforms that explore our relationship with the environment. Jerwood Open Forest is the first time that a national open call invited artists working in any discipline to respond to the possibilities presented by these incredible, diverse landscapes. The initiative seeks to contribute to a national conversation about how contemporary visual artists engage with the environment today.

Project bursaries

On offer were five research bursaries of £2,000, developmental support from the teams at both organisations, an exhibition and now, with the vital support of public funding through Arts Council England, two commissions of £30,000 for two selected projects to be produced and realised.

The selection panel of leading practitioners and project partners included; Michaela Crimmin, Co-director, Culture+Conflict; Dan Harvey, artist; Tania Kovats, artist; Shonagh Manson, Director, Jerwood Charitable Foundation; and Hayley Skipper, Curator of Arts Development, Forestry Commission England.

The five research bursaries were awarded to Juan delGado, Adam James, Amanda Loomes, artist duo Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt) and Chris Watson collaborating with producer Iain Pate.

The artist’s expanded on the concept of their ambitious proposals, engaging with forest sites across England. In doing so the artists have produced exciting new bodies of work comprising sculpture, film, audio, and performance which was presented through a unique, multisensory exhibition.

Semiconductor unveil Jerwood Open Forest commission Cosmos at Alice Holt Forest

Cosmos sculpture - Alice Holt ForestIt is the culmination of more than a year’s research and development at Alice Holt by Semiconductor who have collaborated with scientists from Forest Research, the scientific agency of the Forestry Commission.

Their work explores the material nature of our world. Through this piece they consider scientific data as a means of understanding the environment, and the relationship between how science represents the physical world and how we experience it.

The spherical piece is based on one year’s worth of measurements of the take up and loss of carbon dioxide from the forest trees collected from the top of a 28m high flux tower located nearby in Alice Holt Research Forest. The work will be situated a leisurely 20 minute walk from the visitor centre and will be open to the public for years to come.

Jerwood Forest Partners

Last updated: 2nd August 2016

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