CHARCOAL WORKS & CHARCOAL MEASURE
Charcoal Works is an exhibition of commissioned artworks that have been produced with the charcoaled remains of the iconic oak sculpture ‘Place’, that stood on the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail for 29 years.
In October 2015 a charcoal ‘clamp’ was built on the same spot in the forest where the oak sculpture had stood. For three days and two nights, beneath a huge earth covered mound, an intense heat steamed, smoked and slowly carbonised the wood.
The exhibition at Hardwick Gallery brings the recycling of a single artwork into multiple elements full circle. Onya McCausland has invited 18 artists to produce new work from the charcoal according to their diverse practices, and the exhibition includes works that have been drawn from its material, physical or chemical properties, or historical uses.
Charcoal Works is be accompanied by a symposium, Deep Material Encounters, held at Clearwell Caves, Forest of Dean, one of the country’s oldest iron ore mines, on Friday 15th April 2016. The symposium brings together researchers and artists from across the arts and sciences to discuss ways that knowledge is developed, and perceptions altered, through encounters with particular material, in the context of current ecological conditions.
Alongside the exhibition and symposium, Onya McCausland has created a new temporary work for the Sculpture Trail. Charcoal Measure is a line of charcoal on the forest path that draws attention to the scale of the underground coal excavations, working from the surveyed grid structure that maps the empty cavities 1000ft below the surface. The work may be viewed on the Trail from Tuesday 15th March 2016.
Charcoal Works and Charcoal Measure are commissions by the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust in collaboration with Forestry Commission England.
Supported by funding from Arts Council of England and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.