What is the proposal for?

Artists working in any visual arts medium are invited to make proposals for a major new commission with a £30,000 budget to be realised and presented anywhere within England’s Public Forest Estate. Proposals must be for new work but the work may be permanent, temporary or touring. Artists may apply to make work for any location within England’s Public Forest Estate. For information regarding the Public Forest Estate go to www.forestry.gov.uk/visit.


Artists applying must be all of the following:

  • An individual or making an application as a collaborative practice
  • Within 15 years of graduating or establishing their practice
  • Currently resident in the UK
  • Working in any visual medium, including but not limited to sculptural or architectural works or time based work including photography or moving image

Artists can apply once as an individual and once as part of a collaborative practice.

Research & development period

A panel comprised of experienced artists, curators and the project partners will consider all applications and will select five artists based on the proposals entered. The panel will consider:

  • The strength and originality of the idea
  • Its critical context and potential
  • The opportunity the commission could offer to the artists’ practice and experience

Each shortlisted artist or collaborative practice will receive a Research & Development fee of £2,000.  A small travel budget will also be available where needed.

During this six month research period the selected artists will take part in development activities, structured through a core programme of group workshops and advisory sessions which will be experienced as a peer group, and complemented by one-to-one sessions for each artist.  The whole programme will draw on the practical and curatorial knowledge of the Jerwood and Forestry Commission England teams, the experience of current and past selectors and past Jerwood Open Forest artists, and it will bring in external experts where applicable.

The selected artists will be supported practically and curatorially by Hayley Skipper, Curator of Arts Development at Forestry Commission England to; develop the context, concept, feasibility and budget within their proposal for the commission; explore the siting of their proposal and to broker and support the conversations with FCE sites. 

The exhibition

Work or works relating to the shortlisted artists’ proposals will be presented as part of a curated exhibition at  Jerwood Space, London in November 2016. Presentation may take a wide variety of formats to best showcase the artists’ practice, from film, sound or text to sculpture and installation. The exhibition will present the breadth of ideas, exploring contemporary debates in critical practice, art in the public realm and the environment. The exhibition will be accompanied by a programme of talks and events.

During the exhibition, each shortlisted artist will meet with the panel to present and discuss their proposals. Through this process, the panel will award the commission considering:

  • The development of the concept and context
  • The practical feasibility of its budget and site

During the exhibition, the winning commission will be announced.

Commissioning period

The selected artist will work closely with both the Curator of Arts Development from FCE and project managers, Parker Harris to realise the work. It is intended that the process be a developmental and well-supported one where appropriate for the selected artist, who may not necessarily have previous experience of making work on a similar scale or in related contexts.  Any planning approval that is needed will need to be applied for following the award of the commission, and successfully secured before commencement of the commission. Following selection of the artist, responsibilities of each party will be confirmed and contracted including the timeframe for the commission, installation and unveiling of the work.

The terms of entry for the commission, and the contract with the successful artist or collaborative practice, will be for delivery of the specified commission, and not for receipt of a Prize or Award.

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