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. Artists include Edward Allington, Sophie Bouvier Auslander, Jess Bryant, Marcin Gawin & Malgorzata Lucyna Zajac, Joy Gregory, Tess Jaray, James Keith, Sam Llewellyn- Jones, Lisa Milroy, Onya McCausland, Jayne Parker, Lotte Scott, Joy Sleeman, Jack Southern, Andrew Stonyer, Kay Tabernacle and Jo Volley.
Charcoal Works will be accompanied by a symposium, Deep Material Encounters, to be 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 materials, in the context of current ecological conditions. The symposium starts at 2.30pm. Book your place at the symposium via the followinglink. There will be a coach leaving for Clearwell Caves (Coleford) from Hardwick Campus (Cheltenham) at 11.20am and arriving back at 7pm – follow directions when booking to reserve a place on the coach.
Alongside the exhibition and symposium, Onya McCausland is creating a new temporary work for the Forest of Dean 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.