Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail
The Sculpture Trail links several different site-specific sculptures commissioned for the forest. It is open from dawn to dusk every day of the year, with no admission charge. The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust continues to raise funds to commission additional works. The Trust (FODST) manages the Sculpture Trail, located at Beechenhurst, near Coleford in Gloucestershire, in partnership with the Forestry Commission in the Forest of Dean. The Trust is a registered charity and has a long record of commissioning sculpture and related temporary projects that are specific to the forest environment. Commissioning commenced in 1986, originally in partnership with Arnolfini, Bristol’s flagship contemporary art gallery, and following the establishment of the Trail has resulted in the presentation of more than 20 permanent sculptures, almost all of international significance, alongside temporary residencies and highly successful public events.
The Trail provides access to a diverse audience that attracts an estimated 300,000 visitors per year. Since many of them do not visit art galleries, this is frequently their first introduction to site-specific art, or indeed contemporary art of any form.
The early sculptures were commissioned to be site-responsive and to interpret the forest, and the Trust adheres to this very particular strategy, which is what makes the Dean very different from other Sculpture Trails in the country.
The Trail currently has 18 sculptures of international importance made from various materials. Examples include Kevin Atherton's 15 foot by 10 foot stained glassed window 'Cathedral' which hangs high in the canopy over the heads of walkers and Neville Gabie’s 'Raw', a giant cube assembled from the entire mass of an oak tree.
Past commissions include acclaimed works by David Nash, Peter Randall-Page, Cornelia Parker and Annie Cattrell at crucial stages in their early-careers.
In February 2015, the Trail announced major new investment for a series of artworks due to be installed in the summer of 2016.
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