Reforest celebrates 20 years of artists’ commissions in King’s Wood, Kent. Bringing together commissioned works, reconstructions and documents from the Stour Valley Arts archives, this exhibition explores the evolving story of the organisation and the range of artistic responses to this particular forest. Reflecting the changing nature of King’s Wood – its evolving history as well as the cycles of seasonal change – the exhibition will transform at its mid-point to allow artistic responses to be presented that reflect two loose themes, discretely, but within the arch of one exhibition and so constitute a richer portrait of SVA. We hope that this changing exhibition will give you good reason to make repeat visits.
Reforest: Part One (Saturday 20 July to Saturday 10 August) explores artists’ embrace of scientific or pseudo-scientific approaches to their subject, either within the methodology of their working, or in the language and forms in which they present the final work. Investigating the biology of micro-organic worlds or the physics of light, the artists approach the landscape with wonder, and a will to record or document it. Through these processes they hope, perhaps, to know and understand it better. In observing or recording the forest, the natural environment is afforded an active role within the process, and to a great extent determines the final work. In a number of these works the artist also takes us on a journey through the seasonal cycle of the forest and allows us to see, and smell, the changing landscape.
Reforest: Part Two (Wednesday 14 to Saturday 31 August) looks at ways that artists have understood the significance of the trace, both visible and invisible, in the life of their work. Within the forest different experiences of time are witnessed concurrently – from the moment-to-moment changing light falling through the tree canopy, to the centuries-long histories clearly inscribed on the landscape – and artists’ conceptual wrestling with a sense of eventual impermanence often becomes a key part of their work. The resulting works leave different kinds of traces, from land art sculpture or intervention that subtly change the geological landscape to more intangible traces of this specific landscape represented through a scent or a musical record.
To launch the transformed exhibition a free public discussion with a panel of previously commissioned artists will take place on Saturday 17 August (1-3pm). See here for more information.