Since 1977 leading international artists have created sculptures at Grizedale Forest, residing and working in the forest for several weeks producing work inspired by, and of, their surroundings.

Amongst those early residencies were notable sculptors Richard Harris (the forest’s first resident in 1977-78), David Nash (1978), Robert Keonig (1981-83), Andy Goldsworthy (1984, 1985 & 1990) and Sally Matthews (1988). Artists have continued to leave permanent and temporary work ever since – creating a legacy of 50 contemporary sculpture amongst the 3,000 hectares of managed woodland. The forest welcomes over 200,000 visitors each year walking and cycling the extensive network of trails – exploring and discovering the sculptures.

The recent return of the Grizedale Residency relaunched only last year, has been made possible through Grizedale Forest’s partnership with the Royal Society of Sculptors and generous funding by the Brian Mercer Trust. Together they are supporting artists and fostering experimentation and innovation in response to the natural environment.

The 2021 residency is an opportunity for two artists (one early year’s sculptor* and one member of the Royal Society of Sculptors) to be based at Grizedale Forest for six weeks, from 30 July – 11 September 2021, to explore how creative ideas can evolve and how new ideas and innovative thinking can cross generations of artistic practice.

Bringing the Residency concept full circle, Grizedale Forest is delighted to welcome back David Nash. David will be joining the President of The Royal Society of Sculptors, Clare Burnett, art project manager, Nia Roberts and the arts development manager for North England at Forestry England, Hazel Stone on the panel to judge the entries.

David Nash said of his residency in 1977-78:

‘Being in the trees coming out of winter into spring for 3 months without teaching commitments meant that for the first time since college I could fully engage with “making”.  There were fallen oaks to work with where they fell and daily, I could experience the season changing.  Many themes I still work with were discovered there.’

Clare Burnett, President of The Royal Society of Sculptors said:

‘This exciting opportunity aims to explore how creative ideas can evolve and how new ideas and innovative thinking can cross generations of artistic practice.I hope the residency will encourage a shared verbal and visual dialogue between the two recipients and ultimately inspire and further the language of their individual practice.’

Grizedale’s residency artists of 2019, Benjamin Allan and Karolin Schwab reflect on their time in the forest.

Ben says: ‘The Grizedale residency was amazing in providing me the time, space and resources to delve deeper into my practice at a pivotal moment. Grizedale forest was the ideal setting as both a stimulating environment and place for reflection.’

Karolin says: ‘Spending six weeks at Grizedale Forest allowed me to immerse myself in an environment I had never been to before. It gave me time and space to play with new materials and techniques. Most importantly, though, it challenged myself as well as my artistic practice and it is those challenges that spark creativity and growth

Hazel Stone said: ‘The Grizedale Residency gives the next generation of sculptors an amazing opportunity to develop their practice and gives both artists the unique experience of exploring and interpreting this special environment through the lens of their practice. Many artists in the past have told us how influential spending time in the forest has been on their practice and we look forward to seeing how it influences future artistic practice and creative dialogue through this wonderful opportunity.’

Residency: 30 July – 11 September 2021

Application deadline: 1 April 2021

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