The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust is proud to have worked with artists Kristina Veasey and Alec Finlay on two short film commissions during lockdown 2020. The films were created in response to the artists’ experiences during the COVID-19 lockdown and the challenges faced, through their respective disabilities, in having limited access to nature and the outside world.
Kristina Veasey has been working with the FODST, in partnership with Unlimited, on a Research & Development commission for the past 18 months.
‘If Only Beds Could Fly’ reflects on the artist Kristina Veasey’s exploration of solidarity and resilience within the heritage, landscape and people of the Forest of Dean. The conversations, research and forest immersion that were central to her project were halted when the pandemic struck, but as a disabled artist who is often laid up, she was no stranger to weaving round obstacles and overcoming barriers.
Despite being hundreds of miles away, virtual forest bathing and long-distance conversations, brought connection in a time of isolation and inspired new work full of celebration. ‘If Only Beds Could Fly’ invites viewers to share in the artist’s journey to this unique part of the country.
Alec Finlay is an internationally recognized artist and poet whose work crosses over a range of media and forms. Much of Finlay’s work considers how we relate to landscape and ecology.
Alec’s poetic essay, ‘On not walking’, is a personal account of his experience of disability – living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E) since 1991, and the severe impact of Coronavirus, since March 2020.
The text reflects on walking (and not walking), experiences of pain and limit, and creative acts of witness. The accompanying film documents a short trip along cycle paths using an e-scooter, which allowed the artist to re-enter the world, or, at least, travel as far as his local beach.
The essay is an extract from a longer text, which will be published by the American poetry blog Harriet, and will eventually be the centrepiece of a book on disability and rewilding, exploring the concept of a culture of remediation.
Alec’s mother, Sue Finlay, lives locally near Lydney. She installed Ian Hamilton Finlay’s ‘Grove of Silence’ as part of the Sculpture Trail in 1986.