There’s been widespread coverage of our plans to decommission Place on local news sites and on BBC Online. A bat survey is currently being carried out, so there are no specific plans replace the artwork. But we do have an exciting series of new commissions coming soon in 2016 that will be sited in new and different locations along the Trail. To find out more read our press release and you can also read our FAQ sheet.
Magdalena Jetelova’s iconic work “Place“, which has affectionately become known as the Giant’s Chair, is to be decommissioned later this year. The artwork was installed in 1986 and was originally only intended to last a short time before being set on fire. Instead the artwork has remained on its hilltop position for 29 years and has captivated millions of visitors from all over the world.
RIGHT: Archive image of Place in 1986 when it was first installed surrounded by woodpiles intended for making charcoal
Over the years trees have soared around the sculpture and now tower over the artwork. Despite efforts to extend its life, the sculpture has begun to tilt and will eventually collapse. Over the years many sculptures have come and gone on the Trail. Some have been removed for safety reasons, others have been reclaimed by the Forest, overgrown or degraded into the ground. As the older sculptures come to the end of their life, new artworks appear such as our planned commission by Henry Castle. These additions are not intended to replace older sculptures, but are opportunities for a new generation of artists to explore and reveal new ideas about this unique Forest.
Magdalena Jetelova’s work has not just attracted humans, but also bats who have said to be roosting in the sculpture for many years. Ecologists are carrying out a survey to find out more about the bats living in the sculpture this summer and ensure that they will be given a safe and long term home nearby.
The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust is planning a special commemorative project to celebrate the history of Place, more details about this project will be announced soon. We’re keen hear from visitors – send us your videos, photos and memories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Then and now
The iconic sculpture once stood on an empty hill top, since then trees have grown to surround and tower over the artwork. The two photos below show the artwork during Spring 29 years ago and more recently in April 2015, showing the trees that now surround Place:
The arms and legs of the sculpture have weathered and formed many crevices and cracks that have attracted bats to roost hide inside during the summer months.