Evolving the Forest exhibition (June 19 to September 4)

The essential spirit of the coming-together of voices, thoughts and opinion to the annual gatherings at Dartington convened by art.earth is one of open-ness and fluidity. We use an open call spread as widely as possible, and we believe this open, ecological process engenders unexpected and unusual registers, allowing for a very real and spontaneous mixing of disciplines and outlook. It may not be so unusual for artists and scientists to attempt a sharing of intellectual spaces (although unusual enough), but to broaden this to embrace architects, designers, materials experts, engineers, chemists, philosophers, policy-makers and land managers was the clarion opportunity when convening an event initially stemming from the centenary celebrations of the UK Forestry Commission.

This exhibition grew from the core of Evolving the Forest and was also based on an open call. We simply asked artists to respond to the idea of ‘tree’ or ‘tree-ness’ – nothing more. The work in this exhibition represents the breadth of ideas we received: some of it quite representational, some more abstracted; some designed to hang on a wall as a permanent statement, others to be more ephemeral and to decay within the landscape in which they were created.

Much of the work is ‘site-specific’ – that is, it responds to a specific piece of woodland or specific tree. Bob Budd’s work, Marchant Barron’s poems, and Rob and Harriet Fraser’s installation all were made specifically for Dartington and for specific trees within this special landscape.

Please note that Rob & Harriet Fraser’s work will be shown only for one day (June 20), and Bob Budd’s work has been designed to decay quite quickly into its landscape and may well have disappeared long before the formal end of this exhibition in early September.

Richard Povall


[image: Paul Newman: Langdon Hill (detail)]

View/download the flyer with map. These are also available at the main Visitor Centre and other sites around the Dartington estate.

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