Through art, sculpture, film and data, This is a FOREST explores what might be possible if we work with - rather than against - nature, exposing systems and structures that prevent ecosystems from thriving.
These artworks invite us to explore ownership of earth, soil, air and water. Beyond its financial value, what is land worth in ecological, health and social terms?
Invisible Flock is a multi-award-winning interactive arts studio, based at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, who create sensory environments and installations where human and planetary health meet. This project sees them collaborate with Anushka Athique, Vandria Borari, Nwando Ebizie, Outi Pieski and Jenni Laiti as they journey across 50 sites in Leeds in an attempt to reclaim a part of the city as a forest.
Experience a series of artworks in this multi-media exhibition at a pop-up space at Moda, New York Square.
Featuring work from artists based in West Yorkshire, the UK, the Arctic Circle and the Brazilian Amazon, this work tells the story of an attempt to reclaim a part of the city as a forest, alongside global stories of how land and identity are deeply connected.
Past, present and future narratives are interwoven in a complex, layered conversation about land and value.
Listen to the story of This is a FOREST in these five short episodes.
This exhibition brings together the journey of 4 plus years of research and collaboration. Our starting point was asking; what is a forest? With over 800 definitions worldwide a forest was not a single thing, rather it could be found running through everything, from language, to entire cultures, to urban planning and worldviews that were yet to be invented, common philosophies of land ownership became increasingly nonsensical when looked at through these planetary and ecological lenses.
This exhibition and series of site interventions do not mark the end of this project’s journey. We instead present real-time dialogues, responses, alternative futures and provocations with sites that can be imagined differently when our value systems are questioned.
What if a piece of land in Leeds was owned by no-one (and therefore everyone)? Is this something that we could collectively make possible? What stories would/will be told about it?
Image by Karanjit Panesar
Co-produced by LEEDS 2023 and Invisible Flock. Made possible with National Lottery Heritage Fund. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Supported by Embassy of Brazil in London and Instituto Guimarães Rosa - IGR.
Special thanks to:
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, United Bank of Carbon, Hyde Park Source, Lazy Man Coffee, University of Leeds, Whipple Museum of the History of Science, University of Cambridge, Forest Plans, Leeds Coppice Workers Cooperative, Universidade Federal do Oeste do Pará (UFOPA), Lab Verde, Flávia Santana, Uthai Forest, Alexis Percival, Open Space Society, White Rose Forest, Amanda Crossfield, LS14 Trust, East Street Arts, Leeds City College, Neil Pentelow, Paul Chatterton, Peninah Murage, Luke Bennett.
Advisory Group: Matt Taylor, Forest and Land; Pete Tatham, Hyde Park Source; Katie Field, Professor of Plant-Soil Processes, University of Sheffield; Roel Brienen, Professor in Forest Ecology and Global Change at Leeds University and Anushka Athique, Lecturer in Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at Greenwich University.
Inspired by the ancient forests of Leeds.
This new public artwork in City Square reawakens history and captures the magic of the Forest of Leodis. Inspired by Leeds' roots as an ancient woodland, visual artist Michael Pinsky and environmental architects Studio Bark put sustainability at the heart of this epic piece for LEEDS 2023.
Leeds woven together with communities. A city without seams.
Artist Keith Khan has created a unique artwork for each of the 33 wards of Leeds to celebrate our communities.
Nest is a large-scale theatre production that explores how we can combat the climate crisis and create a better world for future generations.
This original and epic performance will take place at the bio-diverse landscape of RSPB St Aidan's Nature Park. Join us on a journey across St Aidan's, moving through the site as the story unfolds