David began his research in the Forest of Dean in 2009, having just returned from living at Camp Bastion as a war artist. His practice is often research-based and he is
Professor of Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University. The camp is surrounded and protected by HESCO Concertainer units (a form of gabion structure) and their industrial presence echoed in his thoughts as he met people in the Dean. Here he heard stories of how Nelson commanded the oaks to be planted; how the remnants of war had been put down redundant mine shafts; and how freemining rights are a legacy of service during conflict. These thoughts informed his research for this significant new sculpture.
“David is an installation artist working across varied media including video, audio, interactive media, artificial intelligence, device control and hybrid technology. His work exhibits political, social and behavioural analyses of the environments and contexts, which he and his work inhabit.” Most recently, after two years of negotiations between the Wellcome Trust, Imperial War Museum and Ministry of Defence, he was invited to observe the Joint Forces Medical Group at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The outcome was a body of photographic and video work, reflecting upon the time lost between injury on the front-line and the awakening of the patient some hours later in a UK hospital. Earlier works include creating the Saltley Geyser - an inexplicable ‘geyser’ in the middle of a Birmingham suburb - which from May to August daily shot 500 litres of water in a column 30 metres high, drawing people out from their houses to meet and share the experience.
Cotterrell is intrigued by the ex-industrial landscape of the forest, seeing it as “one of choreographed and manipulated tranquillity and contemplation.” Cotterrell said upon appointment: “I would like to investigate construction techniques, which could provide a structural addition designed to be readily appropriated by the forest environment and a platform to consider the contradictions between human manipulation of landscape and the natural passage of time.”
David began his research in the Forest of Dean in 2009, having just returned from living at Camp Bastion as a war artist. The camp is surrounded and protected by HESCO Concertainer units (a form of gabion structure) and their industrial presence echoed in his thoughts as he met people in the Dean. Here he heard stories of how Nelson commanded the oaks to be planted; how the remnants of war had been put down redundant mine shafts; and how freemining rights are a legacy of service during conflict. These thoughts informed his research for this significant new sculpture.
Hill33 is the outcome of that research and will be a challenging and intriguing addition to the works on the Trail.
We are very grateful for the funding and support of the following organisations, without whom this project could not happen.
THE FORESTRY COMMISSION
GLOUCESTERSHIRE ENVIRONMENT TRUST
THE ROYAL MONMOUTHSHIRE ROYAL ENGINEERS
FOREST OF DEAN DISTRICT COUNCIL
ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND
and thanks to all local suppliers who have supported our project: Maddocks, Bowens, Jewsons, Gavellers Cafe, Speech House Hotel & InSite Accommodation
Artist Films and Talks Programme in Gloucestershire
In autumn 2009 we collaborated with other organisations to present a public programme of events: beginning with a film screening and talk by David Cotterrell - presented by Mezzanine - at SVA, Stroud, followed by a talk at the Beechenhurst Visitor Centre, Nr. Coleford, about his approach to his new commission for the Trail. The following week David Behar Perahia talked about his practice at 2 venues, entitled “Site specificity, community and public involvement”.
Behar Parahia’s visit was supported by the British Israeli Arts Training Scheme – BIARTS, a British Council initiative in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture and Sport. Behar Parahia was recently shorltisted for a commission for the Sculpture Trail. He is an Israeli artist whose work researches the notion of place to discover the layers that compose a local context. He asks questions about the physical process of active perception, the participative “spectator”, and the appropriate use of materials for a given situation. His interventions in site/place/context seek to convey a new perspective about people’s sense of locality, considered through physics, chemistry and architecture, drawing on his multi-faceted background that manifests a unique way to carve out meaning from a given situation. He completed his BFA Sculpture at
The University of Gloucestershire in 2001, and was awarded a Ph.D. in Architecture at the Technion, Israel this year. He has exhibited extensively in Israel, the U.K., France, Italy and Greece. www.davidbehar.net
A Fascinating Temporary Sculpture For The Forest Of Dean Sculpture Trail: Colin Glen ‘The Clearing’ (press release)
1st – 28th June 2009
A two-part work at both The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail and at No.1 Middle St. Stroud
The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust and the Forestry Commission are delighted to be hosting one part of this split-site sculpture, which is located on both sides of the River Severn in Gloucestershire.
The Clearing, Colin Glen’s new work in partnership with The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail, Jelf Projects and Stroud Valleys Artspace, will create an intriguing connection between two contrasting places, a former gallery space in a busy residential part of Stroud on the one hand, and the quiet stillness of a woodland glade in the Forest of Dean.The work will act as the starting point for a series of discussion events as part of Glen’s ongoing ‘in negotiation’ project, which encourages opinion, conversation and conflict as an essential element of critical process.
Placed in a clearing on the Sculpture Trail, the skeletal construction in a whitened timber framework will recreate the internal dimensions of the vacant gallery; whilst on the walls of the gallery space in Stroud will hang photographs of views from the sculpture looking out into the surrounding woods.The artist says of the work “The Clearing releases the imagination to create an umbilical cord between the private contemplative space of an empty gallery and the nourishing otherness of the magical world of the Forest”.
Glen has been highly influenced by the work of Ian Hamilton Finlay, whose work ‘Silence’ is also on the Trail. The title ‘The Clearing’ is taken from a poem by Thomas A. Clark, a close associate of Finlay, where he suggest that a gallery can be ‘a space like a clearing in a wood’. The Clearing could be considered the opposite of Raw, another sculpture on the Trail by Neville Gabie. The Clearing occupies a found clearing, whilst the making of Raw created a clearing. Glen and Gabie will discuss this and other issues relating to creating sculpture in a woodland setting on Saturday 6th June. The conversation provides an opportunity for the public to come and hear more about the processes behind making sculpture and is free entry. Glen will be at the sculpture from 1-1.45pm to talk to people about it, before going to the loft at Beechenhurst Lodge, where the event will begin at 2pm. There will also be workshops for families and young people, held in partnership with Cinderford Artspace. Please visit the website for further details: www.forestofdean-sculpture.org.uk, or find us on Facebook – Friends Of The Forest Of Dean Sculpture Trail.
Colin Glen has shown locally in the site Darbyshire Award in 2007 and 2008 and also more widely with the curator Lisa Le Feuvre at Bankley Studios in Manchester and at Daniel Chadwick selected shows in Liverpool and Paris. He is a studio member and is actively involved in the programme at artist- run space SVA in Stroud. He is also an art writer and publishes with magazines ArtMonthly and a-n magazines as well as various catalogue essays and is currently reading for a research degree at the University of Bristol. This is the second time he has shown with Oliver Jelf, the first being in the group show in autumn 2008 entitled ‘Visual Pleasure’
The Clearing is supported in kind by Jelf Projects, Stroud Valleys Artspace, The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust, Forestry Commission and Quitewrite.
The art exhibition reveal took place between Thursday 6th & Saturday 8th April 2006, displaying new works created from light and sound in a selected area of the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail at Beechenhurst, near Coleford, Gloucestershire. Read more…
The Swedish artist Ingemar Thalin visited local families, school, church, hospital and community groups in the course of developing his work Life Cycle, which was installed in the Forest in April 2002. It remained in place until 2006.
As a contribution to the National “2000 — Year of the Artist” celebrations and with funding from South West Arts, the Forestry Commission and Arnolfini Collection Trust, the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust commissioned Neville Gabie to make a new permanent work “Raw” and commissioned new temporary works from Reinhild Beuther, Philip Reilly and Stefan Gec. Read more…
For seven evenings in the autumn of 2001, 40,000 adults and children of all ages went on a journey of discovery and experienced the forest, as they had never seen it before. Click on read more to view video of this fantastic event. Read more…