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Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail Archive
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Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail Archive

  • ST
  • Collection
  • c.1976 - 2019

The collection charts the history of the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail, located at Beechenhurst Lodge in the heart of the Forest of Dean. This includes both the administrative and artistic processes involved. Formats encompass documents, books and publications, leaflets, drawings, videos, a maquette and other ephemera.

In 1983, following the establishment of a sculpture trail in Exeter Forest, Martin Orrom (Forestry and Environment Officer, Forestry Commission) wrote a brief for the establishment of a sculpture trail in the Forest of Dean. The Elephant Trust provided £2,500 towards the project and in Spring 1984 around 20 artists were invited to visit the site and submit proposals for sculptures. Martin worked alongside Jeremy Rees (Founding Director of The Arnolfini, Bristol) and Rupert Martin (Curator at The Arnolfini). Six artists were chosen and these founding commissions were collectively titled "Stand and Stare":

Peter Appleton - Sound Sculptures
Kevin Atherton - Cathedral
Andrew Darke - Sliced Log Star (Inside Out Tree)
Magdalena Jetelova - Place
David Nash - Black Dome/ Fire and Water Boats
Keir Smith - The Iron Road

The trail was opened on 19 June 1986 by Sir David Montgomery, Chair of the Forestry Commission. By 1988, a second batch of sculptures had been installed including:

Bruce Allan - Observatory
Zadok Ben David - As There Is No Hunting Tomorrow
Miles Davies - House
Ian Hamilton Finlay - Grove of Silence
Tim Lees - The Heart of the Stone
Cornelia Parker - Hanging Fire
Peter Randall-Page - Cone and Vessel
Sophie Ryder - Crossing Place/ Deer/Searcher

Since 1986, 28 sculptures both temporary and permanent have been sited on the Sculpture Trail.

The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust was established in 1988 as a registered charity overseeing the maintenance of the trail and commissioning new works. The trail is owned and managed by The Forestry Commission.

Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust

"Beginner's Way" booklet

Compiled by Jamie McCullough. Includes photocopies of:

Letter from Martin Orrom to Jamie McCullough giving agreement in principle for the project
Newspaper article "Beginner's Way Begins"
Descriptions for the trail with photographs
Draft constitution for the Wildharbour Society

Keith Arnatt and Fay Godwin

Keith Arnatt and Fay Godwin were commissioned to photograph the Forest of Dean, the photographs being displayed at The Arnolfini during The Forest exhibition in 1986. Fay Godwin went on to publish the book "The Secret Forest of Dean"

Working file with details of Phase II of the Forest of Dean Project in association with Art Land Marks, opening on 17 July 1988

Application to South West Arts including summary of project to date [Phase I] listing works to date, the response, aims of Phase II, list of artists associated with Phase II, funding and comparative figures between Phase I and Phase II

Annotated copy of "Forestry at the Arnolfini" written by Martin Orrom on 19 March 1983

Proposal outlines for "Giant Charcoal Chair" [Place/ Giant's Chair] by Magdalena Jetelová and "Stained Glass Window" [Cathedral] by Kevin Atherton. Also includes financial details for Place/ Giant's Chair

Bank statements, invoices and financial details

File compiled by Rupert Martin as a snapshot of the trail at the end of Phase II

Excerpts from press reviews, newspaper and magazine articles

Press release regarding Phase II

Phase II leaflet listing new sculptures by Cornelia Parker [Hanging Fire], Bruce Allan [Observatory], Miles Davies [House], Zadok Ben David [Deer], Peter Randall-Page [Cone and Vessel] and Tim Lees [Rose in Hand]

Black and White photographs of Place [Magdalena Jetelová]; The Iron Road [Keir Smith]; Cathedral [Kevin Atherton]; Observatory [Bruce Allan]; Cone and Vessel [Peter Randall-Page]; Mythical Deer [Zadok Ben David]; Rose in Hand [Tim Lees]; Hanging Fire [Cornelia Parker]; House [Miles Davies]

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