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ARTIST IN RESIDENCE WITH FORESTRY ENGLAND
Dalby Forest North Yorkshire 2020 - 2021
Colin is currently an 'Artist in Residence' with Forestry England based in Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire. He is developing a contemporary communication platform that aims to attract new audiences to the forest. He will be using a range of media including photography, video, painting, prints, digital art, social media, poetry and literature. Colin sees this as an opportunity to address and foreground issues which he is passionate about. In particular global warming, insensitive commercial activity and the general lack of empathy with the natural environment, all of which have a profound impact on flora and fauna and on our planet, which is the only place in the known universe confirmed to host life.
The Spiritual World of Dalby Forest
Colin's project aims to encourage a new audience to engage with Dalby forest and to enjoy a different way of exploring and understanding this amazing resource.
Throughout human existence there has been a rich relationship between human thought and the forest world. Trees have acquired symbolic meanings which remain in language, lore and culture. They have often had great religious significance and even today they frequently feature in rituals.
Folklore, myths and practices across the world have long associated forests with spirits or souls. They are often portrayed as dark, shadowy places of mystery and intrigue, places where there are supernatural happenings and inexplicable voices. Forests were believed to be the habitat of monsters, strange creatures, witches, demons and fairies.
Colin's project is focused on Dalby Forest Maze (currently under construction) and its alignment with the Midsummer Solstice. The stone circles at its heart become the catalyst for an adventure. Colin delves into the 'symbolic realm' and through photography, painting, poetry and ultimately through a fantasy narrative, he will explore the links between ancient values, modern practices and the future. The emphatic underlying message is an urgent need to protect all of our vulnerable ecosystems to prevent the impending disaster which is currently threatening our world.
SelfScapes Research Cluster Exhibition - York St John University
In conjunction with his residency in Dalby Forest Colin participated in the second (the first was in 2018) 'SelfScapes' research cluster exhibition event which took place in April and May 2021
SelfScapes is a new research cluster at York St John University and refers to the relationship between self and its environment. The aim of this research cluster is to investigate both the body and place as sites for interconnected experiences and how this might be mediated through a range of media. By bringing together a diverse range of students, academics and artists from fine art, illustration, photography and other disciplines, the objective is to create an environment which facilitates democratic, multidisciplinary collaboration.
If you would like more infomation click the link to access a publication on the last event
SelfScapes Exhibition 2021
For SelfScapes Colin has been exploring the relationship that people and animals have had with forests. Myths, folklore and legends occur across the world. Nyctohylophobia, the fear of dark wooded areas or forests particularly at night, is a common feature. Tales of eerie noises, mythical creatures, transformations, witchcraft, shapeshifting and petrification. Forests talk to those who listen and you can discover much about yourself during a solitary walk through a forest especially at dawn or dusk, or in the dead of the night if you are bold enough. The eight people/creatures represented in Colin's installation can all be found within Dalby forest. When Dalby stone maze aligned with the summer solstice there was a cosmic force which caused ancient petrified forms to stir and their eyes opened and once again they drew breath. How did they react to their new surroundings, the global destruction of forests, climate change and the pressures placed on our flora and fauna ......?
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