The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail celebrates 30 years of commissioning contemporary artworks this July, and will mark the occasion with two new permanent commissions by artists Henry Castle and Pomona Zipser, which were unveiled on 15th July 2016.
In Coal Measure Giants, British artist Henry Castle brings to the surface aspects of what lies hidden beneath the Forest’s surface. Exploring the geological, industrial and sociological aspects of the Forest’s history, visitors will be able to touch the fossilized remains of 300 million year old trees and see the form of the mine shaft sets that provided a livelihood for generations of local freeminers.
Yaşasin by Romanian artist Pomona Zipser creates a space and a structure from which to contemplate and observe the ever-changing forest, making a thought-provoking and visual connection to the surrounding environment, playing with density, dimensions and colour. Berlin-based Zipser’s sculpture has been handcrafted from sweet chestnut felled from the site of the Trail and she has collaborated with local artists and craftsmen to make the sculpture.
The two works are part of a series of new commissions for the Trail in 2016 and join Andrea Roe’s Sentient Forest and Charcoal Measure by Onya McCausland. The four new commissions add to the Trail’s current collection of 16 permanent and temporary works, which include commissions by David Nash, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Neville Gabie and Cornelia Parker. .
Henry Castle was born in 1987 and currently lives in London. He studied at the University of Gloucestershire and Wimbledon College of Art graduating in 2010, with The Landmark Sculpture Prize.
He was subsequently chosen to exhibit in the Anticipation exhibition, selected by Kay Saatchi, showcasing the best of London’s graduates of that year, and shortly after won a residency at the Jupiterartland sculpture park near Edinburgh, which culminated in a major commission for their collection, Hare Hill, which was installed in 2012.
Henry’s work embodies a sense of place through a distillation of personal and often solitary experience and the excavation of the history of a landscape, and is realised in a direct engagement with concept, materials and processes.
Pomona Zipser was born in Romania and moved to Germany in 1970. Her practice encompasses painting, lithography, illustrations, draughting, and sculpture. She studied painting at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich, and sculpture at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin. She taught wood and ceramics at the Universität der Künste Berlin from 1994-99, and lectured in sculpture, drawing and art appreciation at the Freien Akademie für Kunst Berlin from 1995-2006. In 1997 she was a lecturer at the Thuringian Summer Academy Bohlen and in 2004/2005 at the Berlin-Weissensee Art Academy for Spatial Design.
The Sculpture Trail is managed by the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust in partnership with Forestry Commission England.
Artworks open 15th July. Open by 8am daily – For closing times and parking costs: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/beechenhurst
The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust, in partnership with the Forestry Commission, commissions world-renowned contemporary sculpture that responds to the unique context of Forest. Free and open to all, the Sculpture Trail provides unique opportunities for leading international artists to make site-specific sculptures that are informed by a sustained engagement with the Forest.
In addition to Forestry Commission England, the Sculpture Trail is indebted to the support of Arts Council England, Gloucestershire Environmental Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Honourable Company of Gloucestershire Charitable Trust and Watts Group of Lydney.
Forestry Commission England manages the Sculpture Trail out of its Beechenhurst Family Visitor site. It is recognised and respected as an international leader in sustainable forestry. Working with others, it looks after the country’s trees, woods and forests for the good of everyone – today and for the future. Its reputation has been built on its expertise and ability to achieve results that benefit people’s lives. These benefits include the unique Public Forest Estate where millions of visitors enjoy a wide range of recreational activities every year. http://www.forestry.gov.uk/visit
Forest Art Works is a new partnership between Arts Council England and Forestry Commission England to support achieving great art and culture for everyone in England’s public forests. Since 1968 England’s Public Forest Estate has played host to artworks and initiatives across artforms. It believes that woodlands and forests are vital places for contemporary artists to engage with, to make and present new work. http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestartworks
Pomona Zipser, Yaşasin, 2016. Courtesy: Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust
Henry Castle, Coal Measure Giants, 2016. Photo: David Broadbent . Courtesy: Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust