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Keith Harrison, Joyride, 2017. A Jerwood Open Forest project, supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Forestry Commission England and Arts Council England. Photo © Hydar Dewachi.

Jerwood Open Forest

A major commissioning and development initiative for artists making work for a forest context, in partnership with Forestry Commission England, and with the support of Arts Council England.

Jerwood Open Forest is a major commissioning opportunity and development programme for artists within 15 years of beginning their practice and was launched in 2013. It supports artists working in a forest context, perhaps for the first time, to develop bold, broad-thinking proposals for a £30,000 commission to be realised anywhere within England’s Public Forest Estate. It is selected through a national open call. Each of the five selected artists receives a £2000 research and development fee to develop their commission proposals, test feasibility and explore potential sites within England’s Public Forest Estate. One artist is selected to receive a further commission of £30,000. All of the artists also participate in a programme of professional development activities as a peer group, including workshops and advisory sessions alongside one-to-one mentoring sessions, and present a group exhibition at Jerwood Space.

We launched this initiative as a unique opportunity to open up the Public Forest Estate to artists in partnership with Forestry Commission England. It responds to a need to support artists working in a forest context with the professional skill set with which to realise a large scale commission, perhaps for the first time.

The selected artists in 2015 were: Rebecca Beinart, Magz Hall, Keith Harrison, David Rickard and David Turley. Keith Harrison was awarded the £30,000 commission to realise Joyride at Cannock Chase Forest on 30 September 2017. 

They were selected by: Katherine Clarke, artist and founding partner of muf architecture/art; Neville Gabie, artist; Shonagh Manson, Director, Jerwood Charitable Foundation; Hayley Skipper, National Arts Development Programme Manager, Forestry Commission England; Dr Joy Sleeman, writer, curator and lecturer.

Semiconductor's Cosmos, one of two projects commissioned through the inaugural Jerwood Open Forest in 2014, remains permanently sited at Alice Holt Forest in Surrey.

Jerwood Open Forest is a partnership between Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Forestry Commission England, with additional support from Arts Council England.