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Cusp by Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva

Internationally acclaimed artist, Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva is to make a major new sculpture for the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail, entitled Cusp.  Commissioned by Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust, a registered charity, in partnership with Forestry Commission England, the sculpture is due for completion in late Spring 2018.

The new sculpture will reach 10 metres in height and will feature sculptural wings 10 metres in diameter.  This monumental design will be formed by intricate metal trusses, built locally and oak felled in the Forest of Dean that will be crafted into shape by the artist and local carpenters.

Evoking the spirituality, heritage and landscape of the Forest and its people, Cusp will first appear tree-like in its form, as part of the landscape.  Closer to, the artist envisions that the ‘branches’ might suggest wings of a bird such as the Forest’s buzzards or opening hands in a gesture of welcome, giving and receiving.   Positioned on a hill top with panoramic views of the Cannop Valley, Cusp will ignite and hone the senses as the sounds of the Forest echo within the sculpture and natural light casts shadows on the surrounding landscape.

The new work is to be sited on the former location of the decommissioned giant chair sculpture Place by Magdelena Jetelova.

Cusp is one of the most ambitious sculptural builds the Sculpture Trust has ever undertaken and we are receiving incredible support from funders and local people to realise its successful completion. The sculpture will not only be an awe-inspiring new and iconic landmark to the Forest, but will also host education workshops for schools and community groups for decades to come,” said Cathy Mager, project director, Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust.

“I am extremely excited to have been commissioned to make a new artwork for the Forest of Dean, one of the most highly regarded places for contemporary site specific sculpture in England.  Having now spent time meeting and discussing my proposal with local people, I’m really looking forward to working with them to produce the work.  It is a huge privilege to follow in the footsteps of Magdalena Jetelova’s Place, which was such a signature sculpture for the Forest.  I only hope Cusp can achieve the same level of regard, both locally and internationally,” said Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva, artist.

 “This exciting new artwork is set to be a striking sculpture, positioned in a prominent location on the trail.  The scale of the project is monumental for the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust and will be enjoyed by visitors for many years to come.  Regular visitors to Beechenhurst will also see improvements to the trail surface prior to the time of the launch,” said Judith Lack, Recreation Manager, Forestry Commission.

Cusp is part of the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust’s three-year programme supported by major new investment from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development through the Forest and Tewkesbury LEADER scheme, Arts Council England, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and Watts Group Lydney.  The new education and community programme will be supported by funding from the Summerfield Trust and Ernest Cook Foundation.

Forest of Dean & Wye Valley, Beechenhurst.

About the Artist: Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva

Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva is a contemporary visual artist working across varied media of sculpture, installation, video, sound, photography and architectural interventions. Her materials range from the extraordinary to the ordinary and the ephemeral or discarded to the highly precious; they have included organic materials, foodstuffs and precious metals, such as caul fat to gold leaf. Central to her practice is a response to the particularities of place; its history, locale, environment and communities.

Hadzi-Vasileva’s artworks are in public collections internationally including The Vatican; Office of Public Works, Ireland; Križanke, Ljubljana; Casoria Contemporary Art Museum, Napoli, Italy; Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art and New Hall Art Collection, Cambridge and private collections around the world.

The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust in partnership with the Forestry Commission, commissions contemporary sculpture that aims to: create experiences and enjoyment of world-renowned contemporary sculpture that responds to the special context of this Forest; provide free and open access to all to contemporary sculpture; and provide unique opportunities for artists to make sculptures which are informed by a sustained engagement with the Forest.

Forestry Commission England manages the Sculpture Trail out of its Beechenhurst site. The Commission is recognised and respected as an international leader in sustainable forestry. Working with others, it looks after the country’s trees, woods and forests for the good of everyone – today and for the future. Its reputation has been built on its expertise and ability to achieve results that benefit people’s lives. These benefits include the unique Public Forest Estate where millions of visitors enjoy a wide range of recreational activities every year.

Forest Art Works is a new partnership between Arts Council England and Forestry Commission England to support achieving great art and culture for everyone in England’s public forests. Since 1968 England’s Public Forest Estate has played host to artworks and initiatives across artforms. It believes that woodlands and forests are vital places for contemporary artists to engage with, to make and present new work.

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