“Charcoal Measure” by Onya McCausland


New piece “Charcoal Measure” by Onya McCausland

“Charcoal Measure” uses charcoal made from the decommission of “Place” compressed into a series of black trenches scored into the ground. The work enables visitors to the Sculpture Trail to trace the locations of hidden coal excavations that exist 1000ft under foot. Artist Onya McCausland worked closely with the Deputy Gaveller of the Forestry Commission in Coleford to explore surveys of old mine workings and map the charcoal markings on the surface of the Trail.

Onya said of the process: “The huge heap of charcoal made by burning “Place” was so visually and physically related to coal that my first urge was to return the charcoal to the ground — where it ‘belonged’ — and where its life began in the form of an oak tree.

The ‘coal measures’ underlying the Forest are a record of a geological cycle of transformation, and their exploitation as fossil fuel a record of our relationship with the Earth, I am interested in how these two material processes — geological and human — intersect, overlap and converge in the Forest.”

“Charcoal Measure” can be seen ahead of an exhibition “Charcoal Works” at the Hardwick Gallery in Cheltenham that opens on 6th April 2016.

Onya McCausland was born in Zennor, Cornwall and now lives in London. Her work looks at the relationship between human activity and landscape by following the origins and transformations of materials. Her work has been shown in St. Mary’s Church, Kettle’s Yard, Newlyn Art Gallery and Camden Arts Centre. She is currently undertaking PhD research at the Slade School of Fine Art UCL where she also teaches drawing. She is the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards supporting her research from the AHRC, British Council, Arts Council and British Academy among others.

Below are some of the wonderful photos taken by David Broadbent and aerial shots from Gareth Bowden:[/fusion_text][images picture_size=”auto” hover_type=”none” autoplay=”no” columns=”1″ column_spacing=”15″ scroll_items=”1″ show_nav=”yes” mouse_scroll=”yes” border=”yes” lightbox=”yes” class=”” id=””][image link=”” linktarget=”_self” image=”http://www.forestofdean-sculpture.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/DJI_0003-for-SM.jpg” alt=””][image link=”” linktarget=”_self” image=”http://www.forestofdean-sculpture.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/untitled-2-for-SM.jpg” alt=””][image link=”” linktarget=”_self” image=”http://www.forestofdean-sculpture.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/DJI_0033-for-SM.jpg” alt=””][image link=”” linktarget=”_self” image=”http://www.forestofdean-sculpture.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/3K5C9523.jpg” alt=””][image link=”” linktarget=”_self” image=”http://www.forestofdean-sculpture.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/DJI_0038-for-SM.jpg” alt=””][image link=”” linktarget=”_self” image=”http://www.forestofdean-sculpture.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/3K5C9486.jpg” alt=””][image link=”” linktarget=”_self” image=”http://www.forestofdean-sculpture.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/3K5C9909.jpg” alt=””][image link=”” linktarget=”_self” image=”http://www.forestofdean-sculpture.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/DJI_0019-for-SM.jpg” alt=””][image link=”” linktarget=”_self” image=”http://www.forestofdean-sculpture.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/3K5C9420.jpg” alt=””][image link=”” linktarget=”_self” image=”http://www.forestofdean-sculpture.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/3K5C9675.jpg” alt=””][image link=”” linktarget=”_self” image=”http://www.forestofdean-sculpture.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/3K5C0035.jpg” alt=””][image link=”” linktarget=”_self” image=”http://www.forestofdean-sculpture.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/3K5C9893.jpg” alt=””][/images]

New artwork on the way by Onya McCausland

Charcoal Measure
Onya McCausland, From 15th March 2016

Charcoal Measure is a line of charcoal on the forest path that draws attention to the scale of the underground coal excavations, 1000ft below the surface. The work may be viewed on the Trail from Tuesday 15th March 2016.

Handle Gently, Onya McCausland 2015
Handle Gently, Onya McCausland 2015

We are also delighted to to be working with the University of Gloucestershire’s Hardwick Gallery on “Charcoal Works” an exhibition led by Onya McCausland in collaboration with 18 artists. Charcoal Works will open at the Hardwick Gallery on 6th – 22nd April 2016. Click here for more information. All of the artworks have been made with the charcoaled remains of the iconic oak sculpture ‘Place’, that stood on the  Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail for 29 years.

Edward Allington 2015
Charcoal Needle by Edward Allington 2015, will be part of Charcoal Works at Hardwick Gallery from 6th April 2016.

Charcoal Measure and Charcoal Works have formed inspiration for Deep Material Encounters, a symposium to be held at Clearwell Caves, Forest of Dean, one of the country’s oldest iron ore mines, on Friday 15th April 2016. The symposium brings together researchers and artists from across the arts and sciences to discuss ways that knowledge is developed, and perceptions altered, through encounters with particular material, in the context of current ecological conditions. The symposium starts at 2.30pm. Book your place at the symposium via Eventbrite: click here. There will be a coach leaving for Clearwell Caves from Hardwick Campus (Cheltenham) at 11.20am and arriving back at 7pm – follow directions when booking to reserve a place on the coach.

Smouldering charcoal on the former site of Place, in October 2015. Photograph by Onya McCausland.


Charcoal Works has been made possible with the support of:

gallery glos uni