Visitors to the famous Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail can get closer to nature this July 2021, with brand-new installations and an additional family trail to experience.
A total of nine new sculptures were unveiled to the public on Monday 19 July 2021, marking the local attraction’s 35th anniversary.
Inspired by the Forest of Dean’s lush natural landscape, the new commissions showcase diverse voices and experiences from local and international artists – all while celebrating the ancient woodland’s rich heritage and environment.
Taking up residence in the Forest for three years, ‘Soil unsoiled’ is a moving commission by local resident, Khady Gueye, and Bristol poet Zakiya McKenzie.
It takes the form of a poem, exploring themes from Khady’s lived experience and the racial inequalities she has encountered and witnessed. The piece is etched on a piece of charred and blackened timber, providing a point of contemplation on the Sculpture Trail.
Meanwhile, family visitors will love discovering ‘Forest to Forest’, a new trail featuring eight sculptures that celebrate forest wildlife – and highlight the important role that nature has played in our lives throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.
Designed to be shorter than the main Sculpture Trail, it’s a more accessible route for little explorers and will be in place for six months from Monday 19 July 2021.
Encouraging visitors to reconnect with nature, sculptures include ‘Tree Hug’ by Monsieur Plant, which pays tribute to the benefits of trees by inviting visitors to give them a hug; ‘Animal Shelter’ by Michelle Cain, which takes the form of a badger, one of the Forest’s natural residents; and ‘Shovel Bugs’ from Atelier LandArt, which uses repurposed garden trowels to showcase the often-overlooked bug life on the forest floor.
The new installations are supported by the Arts Council through its Emergency Response Funds and the government’s Cultural Recovery Fund.
The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail at Beechenhurst is free to visit, with ‘Forest to Forest’ and ‘Soil unsoiled’ available to view from Monday 19 July 2021.
For more information, visit forestryengland.uk/beechenhurst.
By Annabel Lammas
Tuesday 20 July 2021
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