Following the success of the inaugural Jerwood Open Forest culminating in two £30,000 commissions in England’s Public Forests in 2014 by Semiconductor and Chris Watson with Iain Pate, Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Forestry Commission England are delighted to launch the second iteration of Jerwood Open Forest with generous support of Arts Council England.  This is an exceptional opportunity for visual artists, as individuals or as collaborators, to propose ideas for a major new £30,000 commission to be realised anywhere in England’s Public Forest Estate.

There is no brief.  The forests are open for your ideas.  This is a call for bold, broad-thinking proposals that explore the potential of forests as sites for art. Proposals can be for work in any discipline or medium, temporary or permanent, site-specific or for touring to more than one location.

The opportunity: What's on offer

From initial ideas entered, up to eight artists will be invited for interview from which five artists will be selected to receive a £2,000 Research & Development (R&D) fee to develop their proposals over a six month period.  Each artist will be fully supported by Jerwood Visual Arts and Forestry Commission England to expand on their concept, assess the viability of the idea and identify potential sites through this phase. This research process will culminate in a curated exhibition at Jerwood Space, London which will present the artists’ work and explore broader contemporary debates around critical practice and art in the public realm and the environment.

During the exhibition one artist will be selected to receive a £30,000 commission to realise their proposal.


The selection panel will include leading practitioners and project partners:

Katherine Clarke

Artist, Director and Co-founder muf architecture/art

Neville Gabie


Shonagh Manson

Director, Jerwood Charitable Foundation

Hayley Skipper

Curator of Arts Development, Forestry Commission England

Joy Sleeman

Head of taught Courses in History and Theory of Art, UCL Slade School of Fine Art

How to enter

At the first stage, we are looking for ambitious ideas that respond to the context of the Public Forest Estate. It is the idea that counts and should be the focus of the proposal; we do not need it to be a fully resolved concept at this stage, nor do we require artists to demonstrate previous experience of working on this scale or in related contexts.

Entry is by online application.

All artists are required to enter:

  • A maximum 500 word proposal outlining your idea
  • A current CV
  • A maximum of six images of current work or work in progress (files no larger than 500kb) or link to video/film
  • An entry fee of £10 per application

Key Dates

1 February 2016Deadline for entries by 5pm
1 March 2016Artists informed of result of application
11 March 2016Short list interview day
End MarchSelected artists announced
April – September 2016Research & Development Period
2 November – 11 December 2016Exhibition opens at Jerwood Space
November 2016Selected commission announced
2017Realisation of commission

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