Internationally acclaimed artist, Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva is to make a major new sculpture for the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail, entitled Cusp. Commissioned by the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust, a registered charity, in partnership with Forestry Commission England.
The new sculpture will reach 10 metres in height and will feature sculptural wings 10 metres in diameter. This monumental design will be formed by intricate metal trusses, built locally and oak felled in the Forest of Dean that will be crafted into shape by the artist and local carpenters.
Evoking the spirituality, heritage and landscape of the Forest and its people, Cusp will first appear tree-like in its form, as part of the landscape. Closer to, the artist envisions that the ‘branches’ might suggest wings of a bird such as the Forest’s buzzards or opening hands in a gesture of welcome, giving and receiving. Positioned on a hill top with panoramic views of the Cannop Valley, Cusp will ignite and hone the senses as the sounds of the Forest echo within the sculpture and natural light casts shadows on the surrounding landscape.
The new work is to be sited on the former location of the decommissioned giant chair sculpture Place by Magdelena Jetelova.
“Cusp is one of the most ambitious sculptural builds the Sculpture Trust has ever undertaken and we are receiving incredible support from funders and local people to realise its successful completion. The sculpture will not only be an awe-inspiring new and iconic landmark to the Forest, but will also host education workshops for schools and community groups for decades to come,” said Cathy Mager, project director, Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust.
“I am extremely excited to have been commissioned to make a new artwork for the Forest of Dean, one of the most highly regarded places for contemporary site specific sculpture in England. Having now spent time meeting and discussing my proposal with local people, I’m really looking forward to working with them to produce the work. It is a huge privilege to follow in the footsteps of Magdalena Jetelova’s Place, which was such a signature sculpture for the Forest. I only hope Cusp can achieve the same level of regard, both locally and internationally,” said Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva, artist.
“This exciting new artwork is set to be a striking sculpture, positioned in a prominent location on the trail. The scale of the project is monumental for the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust and will be enjoyed by visitors for many years to come. Regular visitors to Beechenhurst will also see improvements to the trail surface prior to the time of the launch,” said Judith Lack, Recreation Manager, Forestry Commission.
Cusp is part of the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust’s three-year programme supported by major new investment from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development through the Forest and Tewkesbury LEADER scheme, Arts Council England, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and Watts Group Lydney. The new education and community programme will be supported by funding from the Summerfield Trust and Ernest Cook Foundation.