Forestry Commission logo

Semiconductor to unveil Jerwood Open Forest commission Cosmos at Alice Holt Forest

This news story is now over a year old and information may no longer be accurate or up-to-date. It might also contain obsolete links.
Please use our search link on the left to look for more recent information.
Jerwood Forest Art Works Semiconductor installation Alice Holt

Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Forestry Commission England are delighted to announce that an ambitious new sculpture by artist duo Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt) entitled Cosmos will be unveiled at Alice Holt Forest in Surrey on 22 October 2014. 

Cosmos is Semiconductor’s first ever public sculpture and has been commissioned through the Jerwood Open Forest initiative.

It is a significant new artwork and is the culmination of more than a year’s research and development 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 Open Forest was launched in 2013 as part of the Jerwood Visual Arts programme by Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Forestry Commission England, with additional support of public funding through Arts Council England’s Grants for the arts programme. The initiative invited artists working in any discipline to respond to the possibilities presented by the incredible landscapes of the Public Forest Estate. Two £30,000 commissions were awarded in February this year; the other was awarded to collaborators Chris Watson and Iain Pate, for their multi-channel sound installation taking place in Kielder Water & Forest Park in late October. 

For information about visiting Alice Holt Forest please go to:

For further details about Jerwood Open Forest and the development of Semiconductor’s commission please visit:

For further information about the Jerwood Visual Arts programme please visit: or follow Jerwood Visual Arts on Twitter: @JerwoodJVA #JOF14

For information on Forest Research’s work on the role of forests in climate change please go to

Notes to Editors:

Media contacts:

Charlotte Magowan, Forestry Commission Marketing Manager, Alice Holt
T: 01483 326282

Isabel Cooper, Parker Harris PR
T: 01372 462 190

Jerwood Open Forest is a new initiative in the Jerwood Visual Arts programme launched by Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Forestry Commission England, with additional support from Arts Council England. Artists were invited to submit bold, broad-thinking proposals for two major £30,000 commissions to be realised anywhere within England’s Public Forest Estate, exploring the potential of forests as sites for art.

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. Following this research phase, and with additional support of public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England’s Grants for the arts programme, two projects were selected to be fully commissioned.

Artist Biography:
Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt) founded Semiconductor in 1999. Through moving image works they explore the material nature of our world and how we experience it, questioning our place in the physical universe. During 2014 Semiconductor have installed Play of Light, their first site-specific moving image installation commissioned for Chichester Festival Theatre, and have sat on the jury panels for the Hamburg International Short Film Festival, and Prix Ars Electronica for Computer Animation, Film and VFX. They are currently producing a commission for ArtScience Museum, Singapore for a Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition, opening in November 2014.

Alice Holt Forest:
Alice Holt Forest spans 850 hectares on the Surrey/Hampshire border within the South Downs National Park. Attracting almost half a million visitors per year, it is one of the most popular countryside recreation venues in the South East.

Forest Research:
Forest Research is an executive agency of the Forestry Commission. It conducts world-class scientific research and technical development relevant to forestry to support and inform the policies for sustainable forest management of all four administrations in the UK.

At the Straits Enclosure in Alice Holt Research Forest, Hampshire, instruments are mounted above the 90 ha oak plantation on a tall tower (28 m). The measurements are used to calculate the net CO2 exchange upwards (when the forest is termed a ‘source’ of CO2, for example at night) and downwards (when the forest is a CO2 sink, for example on a sunny summer day). In addition digital cameras (‘phenocams’) record how the leafiness of the canopy changes throughout the year by taking photos automatically every half hour. The cameras have been in use since 2009 and are enabling Forest Research scientists to build a picture of how changes in weather patterns affect the development of the forest canopy.

Project Partners:
The 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

Jerwood Visual Arts is a contemporary gallery programme of exhibitions, awards and events at Jerwood Space, London and on tour nationally. Jerwood Visual Arts supports and showcases the work of talented emerging artists, and aims to make connections and provoke conversations within and across visual arts disciplines. It is a major initiative of the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.

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 woodlands 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 2010 and 2015, we will invest £1.9 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1.1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.