The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust are pleased to announce the winner of our recent South West England open call. Robin Collings and his 9-year-old daughter Isla Collings have been awarded a joint commission to create a metal sculpture engraved with a forest inspired poem written by Isla.

Robin and Isla’s new sculpture will form part of a programme of outdoor installations this summer supported by Arts Council England’s Culture Recovery Fund and delivered in partnership with Forestry England. It is hoped Robin and Isla’s joint creation will inspire andresonate with families that have been home schooling and making art at home with their children through the pandemic. A new one-way route that loops through the trees is planned to enable visiting families to safely social distance whilst enjoying art and nature. Details of the new forest art trail will be released in the coming months, subject to government lockdown restrictions.

Sarah Bowden, Vice-Chair of Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust said:

“The selectors were enchanted by Robin Collings’ proposal to create a new piece of work inspired by the flora and fauna of the forest with input from his daughter, Isla, aged 9. Isla and Robin are frequent visitors to the Forest of Dean, and they clearly can’t wait to return. We look forward to seeing how they collaborate with the forest to bring new magic to the trail.”

Selection panel member Kaye Dunnings, Creative Director, Lost Horizon said:

 “This sculpture is going to be extremely exciting for all the young budding artists that get to experience it and I hope it will inspire more families to create together.”

Robin Collings said:

“I am so happy to have been chosen for this commission. The Forest of Dean and specifically the Sculpture Trail holds a special place in my heart. I spent formative time here as a child, so it is incredibly special to be able to bring my daughter here and work collaboratively on this piece. The last 12 months have been a disconnecting time for us all, so this sculpture will be an opportunity to explore the connecting nature of the forest and the trail for our families and friends”

Robin Collings is an emerging visual artist and producer. Having been a circus proprietor and founder of the iconic Shangri-la at Glastonbury Festival, Robin started creating his own sculptural works intended for open field and festival sites around 2010. By 2015 Robin had commissions from the likes of Rita Ora, Adidas, Secret Garden Party and Mode London, often using steel and light and influenced by stage illusions and showman culture to encourage interaction, engagement and movement from the viewer.