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Forestry Commission England announce the winner of Jerwood Open Forest 2016

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Jerwood Open Forest Winner

Artist Keith Harrison has been announced as the winner of Jerwood Open Forest 2016 and will be awarded a major £30,000 commission to realise his project Joyride at Cannock Chase Forest in autumn 2017.

Jerwood Open Forest was established by Forestry Commission England and Jerwood Charitable Foundation in 2013 with support from the Arts council. The project seeks to contribute to a national discussion around how contemporary artists engage with the environment today, presenting forests as a rich and immersive platform for bold and ambitious works.

Keith Harrison’s winning commission will see a clay replica of a Rover 75 down a specially constructed roller coaster style ramp and will provide a pertinent commentary on the rise and fall of car manufacturing in the area.

Selected by a panel of leading practitioners and project partners, Hayley Skipper, National Arts Development Manager Comments:

“Keith has demonstrated an uncompromisingly strong artistic vision throughout the development of his proposal. His investment in research, technical considerations and palpable connection with both the chosen site and themes being explored have been unwavering. We are very much looking forward to working on realising this ambitious project with Keith.”

The Jerwood Open Forest exhibition continues at Jerwood Space, London until 11 December.

For further details about Jerwood Open Forest and to follow the development of the commission, please visit:


Exhibition Information
Title:   Jerwood Open Forest
Dates:   2 November - 11 December 2016
Address:  Jerwood Space, 171 Union Street, London SE1 0LN
Opening Times: Mon–Fri from 10am–5pm, Sat & Sun from 10am–3pm
Admission:  Free
Nearest Tube:  Southwark, London Bridge or Borough
Website: /
Twitter/Instagram:  @JerwoodJVA #JOF

Jerwood Visual Arts will host a series of evening events to accompany the exhibition. All events are free - advanced booking is required. For more information please check the website:

Notes to editors
First launched in 2013 and now in its second edition, Jerwood Open Forest is a collaboration between Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Forestry Commission England with the support of Arts Council England.

From an exceptional response of strong and diverse proposals, five projects were selected for a six-month research and development period. The artists each received a £2,000 research and development fee and support from Jerwood Visual Arts and Forestry Commission England to expand on the concept of their proposal and explore potential sites through this phase.
During the Research and Development period, shortlisted artists Rebecca Beinart, Magz Hall, Keith Harrison, David Rickard and David Turley each expanded upon their initial proposals, exploring the notion of art in the public realm, by definition and in practice. In the second Jerwood Open Forest exhibition (2 November – 11 December 2016), the artists present new works which serve as a distillation of their Research and Development period, comprising painting, sculpture, installation and film. The presentations are diverse in terms of process and materials but are united by themes of loss and legacy and transformation. 

Commissions realised through the inaugural 2014 initiative include Hrafn: Conversations with Odin composed by Chris Watson and produced by Iain Pate and spherical sculpture Cosmos by artist duo Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt) which remains on permanent display at Alice Holt Forest in Surrey. 

Project Partners:
Jerwood Visual Arts is a national programme supporting visual arts practice, through which Jerwood Charitable Foundation works with early career artists to commission and present new work. Artist opportunities run throughout the year alongside a programme of related exhibitions, events and commissioned writing taking place online, in London and across the UK.

Jerwood Charitable Foundation is dedicated to imaginative and responsible revenue funding of the arts, supporting artists to develop and grow at important stages in their careers. The aim of its funding is to allow artists and arts organisations to thrive; to continue to develop their skills, imagination and creativity with integrity. It works with artists across art forms, from dance and theatre to literature, music and the visual arts. For more information visit

Forestry Commission England is recognised and respected as an international leader in sustainable forestry. Working with others we look after the country’s trees, woods and forests for the good of everyone - today and for the future. Our reputation has been built on our expertise and our ability to achieve results that benefit people's lives. These benefits include the unique Public Forest Estate where millions of visitors enjoy a wide range of recreational activities every year.

We believe that Forest Art Works. Since 1968 England’s Public Forest Estate has played host to artworks and initiatives across artforms. We believe that woods and forests are vital places for contemporary artists to engage with, to make and present new work. Forest Art Works is a new partnership between Arts Council England and Forestry Commission England to support achieving great art and culture for everyone in England's public forests.

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we will invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.