Julian Wild, 2023
“Growing up in Gloucestershire, the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail was my first and most important encounter with sculpture out of the gallery environment. So it is a privilege for me to be commissioned to make a work for the Forest. Working with the teachers and students at Heart of the Forest School was an inspiring experience for me and I hope that they get enjoyment from this work for years to come. The purpose of Gathering is to create an engaging, playful, interactive and accessible addition to the Sculpture Trail. I want the work to feel both natural and unnatural at the same time, like a strange forest of brightly-coloured geometric trees adorned with reflective fungi.”
Gathering’, is an interactive and colourful artwork that encourages physical engagement from visitors who encounter it. Created by artist Julian Wild, the sculpture consists of 12 coloured metal vertical forms grouped together in a clearing to represent natural structures found in the woodland, recalling shoots growing out of the ground. Joined to these structures are several mirror-polished stainless-steel elements that resemble the shape of woodland fungi.
Julian worked with local school children at Heart of the Forest School, and included their ideas for incorporating tactile touch points, reflective surfaces and colours into the final piece. Alongside the smooth surfaces of the fungi, texture panels are hidden on some of the sculptures for people to find, which enhances the experience of the artwork for visually impaired visitors.
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About the Artist
Julian Wild’s works allude to minimalist sculptures disrupted by interventions and gestures within their form. He often uses colour as an agent to exaggerate the contrast between interior and exterior or to give an object a presence in space. Many of his installations take the form of man-made versions of natural structures, with geometric forms appearing to grow up out of the ground.
Julian Wild has exhibited at venues including Modern Art Oxford, Chatsworth House (Sotheby's), Canary Wharf, and The Ann Norton Sculpture Garden in Florida. He has completed commissions for The University of Oxford, Crest Nicholson, Schroders Investment Management, Radley College, Sir George Iacobescu, and Cate Blanchett.
He was awarded The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Arts club Trust Studio Bursary from 2009-2012. He won an individual Arts Council Grant in 2011. Julian Wild is a fellow of The Royal Society of Sculptors and was Vice-president from 2015-2019. He is Sculpture Leader and a Senior Lecturer at The Art Academy London. He lives and works in Sussex, UK.