David Cotterrell, 2010

“Hill33 is the result of a very unusual coming together of people and places, some literal and some alluded to.” David Cotterrell

David Cotterrell’s installation in the forest is a 1,300-ton, 12-metre tall earthwork. Cotterrell began his research for the work in 2009, having just returned from living at Camp Bastion and Sangin, Afghanistan, as a war artist. The camp is surrounded and protected by HESCO Concertainer units (a form of gabion structure), and their industrial presence echoed in his thoughts as he met people in the Dean. Here he heard stories of how Nelson commanded the oaks to be planted; how the remnants of war had been put down redundant mineshafts; and how freemining rights are a legacy of service during conflict. These thoughts informed his research for this significant sculpture.

Cotterrell is intrigued by the ex-industrial landscape of the forest, seeing it as “one of choreographed and manipulated tranquillity and contemplation.” Cotterrell said upon appointment: “I would like to investigate construction techniques, which could provide a structural addition designed to be readily appropriated by the forest environment and a platform to consider the contradictions between human manipulation of landscape and the natural passage of time.”

Hill33 was funded by The Forestry Commission, Gloucestershire Environment Trust, Hesco, the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers, Forest of Dean District Council, Arts Council England and Cory Environmental. Thanks also to local suppliers Maddocks, Bowens, Jewsons, Gavellers Cafe, Speech House Hotel & InSite Accommodation.

About the Artist

David Cotterrell is an installation artist working across media and technologies to explore the social and political tendencies of a world at once shared and divided. The practice is typified by an interest in intersection: whether fleeting encounter or heavily orchestrated event, Cotterrell’s works explore the human condition and the breaks or nuances that can lead to a less ambiguous understanding of the world they inhabit. Encapsulating the roles of programmer, producer and director, Cotterrell works to develop projects that can embrace the quiet spaces that are the sites for action, which might (or might not) be clearly understood in the future. Cotterrell’s work has been commissioned and shown extensively in Europe, the United States and Asia. He is Research Professor of Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University. You can read more about the artist on his website: www.cotterrell.com