Jerwood Open Forest, a joint initiative launched by Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Forestry Commission England, has awarded two major commissions totaling £60,000. The chosen artists, who were announced at Jerwood Space last night by selector and artist Tania Kovats, are Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt) and sound artist Chris Watson collaborating with producer Iain Pate.

Selected from a shortlist of five artists, who have all undergone a research and development process involving forest sites across England, the commissioned artists will now fully realise their proposals.

Semiconductor will create their first ever public sculpture for the commission. It will draw on a year’s-worth of data gathered from the top of a flux tower at Alice Holt Forest in Surrey. The work looks at the relationship between how science represents the physical world and how we experience it, and will use the data to create an abstract, sculptural piece.

Chris Watson, working with Iain Pate, will produce a multi-channel sound installation featuring the ‘conversations’ of ravens returning to roost. The piece will take place in Kielder Forest in Northumberland in September. Speakers will be placed in the forest’s canopy and the work hopes to make a connection ‘through history and folklore to the present day’.

The selection panel for Jerwood Open Forest was comprised of Michael Crimmin, co-director, Culture+Conflict; Dan Harvey, artist, Ackroyd & Harvey; Tania Kovats, artist; Shonagh Manson, director, Jerwood Charitable Foundation; and Hayley Skipper, curator of arts development, Forestry Commission England.

The Jerwood Open Forest exhibition, which features all five proposals, continues at Jerwood Space, London, until 23 February.

More on

Jerwood Open Forest: looking for strong ideas, not proven experience

Jerwood Open Forest gets funding boost