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Ambleside, LA22 0QL
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Lumen Studios - In Search of Darkness

Hazel Stone

17th September - 4th October 2018

 Image Moon Copyright Melanie King 2017 In Search of Darkness

Image Moon Copyright Melanie King 2017 In Search of Darkness

Lumen Studios will present a series of works inspired by the naturally dark skies of Grizedale Forest. Lumen is an art collective, focused on themes of astronomy and light.  Through the production of art, exhibitions and seminars, Lumen aim to raise a dialogue about how humanity understands existence. During this residency, Lumen are particularly keen to highlight the importance of preserving dark sky areas, raising awareness of the ecological problems caused by light pollution.

As part of Lumen's exhibition and residency, Lumen will conduct experimental astrophotography and sun printing workshops to help visitors experience and capture the natural beauty of the Sun, Moon & Stars.

lumen logo.png

Inspired by Nature - Royal Society of Sculptors

Hazel Stone

24th May - 23rd September 2018

The Forestry Commission has teamed up with the Royal Society of Sculptors to create a new exhibition as part of Grizedale Forest’s 50th Anniversary of Arts and Culture in the forest.

Since 1968 artists have been drawn to Grizedale to create beautiful pieces inspired by this special place. Known for its internationally renowned forest sculpture collection, Grizedale now hosts a free rolling programme of contemporary exhibitions in its gallery set in the heart of the Lake District forest.

The ‘Inspired by Nature’ exhibition includes work from nine artists using a range of media - from pine needles to marble, bronze and wood. All the works presented have been inspired by nature in some way.

Featured artists include Sadie Brockbank, Linda Johns, Neil Ferber, Jeremy Turner, Anna Gillespie, Diane Maclean, Janne Malmros, Gerry Judah and Julian Wild.

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Steam Bending Workshop

Hazel Stone



28 April 2018

Gain a new insight into the history, uses and physical properties of wood, and learn all about the dark art of steam-bending solid wood into impossible looking shapes, including twisting, splitting and 3 types of compression strap.  We will be bending 10 different species as well as seeing how thick a piece we can bend on the day!  Everyone gets to take part during the 2 hour teaching session and there will an optional making session afterwards when you can make your own unique sculpture, steam-bent pot or lampshade to take home.  This is transformational afternoon, with a talk, slideshow, practical seminar, plus live experiments. come along and you will never look at a tree in the same way again! 

Teaching session 1pm - 3pm. Making session 3pm - 5pm.  £25

Book at

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Completing the treefold sculpture: Community Tree Planting

Hazel Stone



12 Feb 2018

Come and join us to plant trees around the new treefold:centre sculpture in Grizedale Forest, and celebrate the completion of the sculpture with the artists, Harriet and Rob Fraser of somewhere-nowhere.

treefold:centre was built in summer 2017 as part of the sculpture collection at Grizedale Forest. It is one of three treefolds in Cumbria that have been created by artists Harriet and Rob Fraser as a legacy of The Long View and a marker of the UK Tree Charter.

More information and register for a place at

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Balance, Stack, Play

Hazel Stone



5 February - 20 May 2018

Balance, Stack, Play is an interactive exhibition inviting everyone to be an artist. Audience members are asked to balance, build and construct their own sculptures using Kayt Hughes signature wooden blocks, to create their own sculptural form.

Visitors are asked to photograph their creations and upload to social media. A winning sculpture will be selected from the entries to be scaled up to create the latest sculpture for Grizedale’s world famous sculpture collection.

Kayt Hughes is a contemporary artist from Manchester, who graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2015 and was awarded the Woon Prize for Painting and Sculpture. Solo exhibitions include “My Five Year Old Could Have Done That” at Gallery North and “It May Not Be Perfect But It’s Mine” at The NewBridge Project. This exhibition has been kindly supported by the Arts Council England, PLANT and 3rd Dimension.

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Career Start Up Workshop

Hazel Stone



Wednesday 17th January, 13.30pm-17.30pm

Career Start Up Workshop is part of a series of Business development workshops and events designed by the Crafts Council to provide makers with skills to strengthen their business development and promote their work successfully.

Find out about how to turn your making into your brand and a business tool. Two established makers will provide insight into their business and give valuable advice on their experiences setting up their businesses.

Booking essential. Early bird tickets available until 15th December 2017. More information and tickets are available on the Crafts Council Website

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Man Bends Tree

Hazel Stone



9 January - 13 May 2018

This exhibition shows the development of Charlie Whinney’s practice over the last ten years from architect – designer to pure sculptural practice and his continued passion for investigating man’s relationship with nature through his work.

Charlie’s 2017 piece Mountains we Made will also be celebrated as the latest addition to Grizedale’s world famous forest sculpture collection. This piece, made of steam bent wood grown in Grizedale, was a co-commission by the Forestry Commission, Lakes Culture and Lakes Alive as a response to the announcement of the World Heritage Status.

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Cubby's Tarn

Hazel Stone



18 October - 31 December 2017

This exhibition by photographer Joseph Wright features a series of images created at a Cubby's Tarn. Part biographical in nature, Joseph takes inspiration for this series from the working life of the late John Cubby MBE, former Forestry Commission Chief Wildlife Ranger and family friend.

This man-made tarn was known to be a favourite location in the forest for John. It was later renamed Cubby’s Tarn in dedication of his memory and recognises the significant influences John had on advancing wildlife management techniques worldwide over his 35-year tenure with the Forestry Commission at Grizedale.

Over a number of years Joseph developed an intimate level of understanding of the tarn and surrounding woodland through repeated visits, to create a quiet and expressive body of work that explores the ‘spirit of place'. The photographs also shows us the regenerative effects of nature after forestry activity, and gives voice to those that manage our forests for future generations and their predecessors that passed before.

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Mountains We Made

Hazel Stone




This new piece of artwork, entitled ‘Mountains We Made’ by Cumbria-based artist Charlie Whinney, has been specially commissioned by The Forestry Commission England, Lakes Culture and Lakes Alive in response to the new World Heritage inscription for the Lake District National Park.  The designation was for its ‘cultural landscape’. 

Mountains We Made is created from a series of ten steam bent sections of wood. The oak for the sculpture has been sustainably sourced from Grizedale Forest in the Lake District.  The sculpture is designed for people to walk along. The wooden sections are inspired by and echo the forms ofthe ten highest peaks in the Lake District. Embedded with words that are taken from Lake District maps, viewers are encourage to follow the pathway through this new cultural landscape. Mountains We Made is currently touring to a number of venues and arts events including Brockhole, Lakes Alive and will be returning to Grizedale to become part of the permanent collection in January 2018.

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Hazel Stone

somewhere-nowhere (Harriet Fraser and Rob Fraser)


An invitation to pause with a single aspen tree in the forest landscape. Created from reclaimed stone using traditional dry stone walling techniques, treefold:centre is carved with poetry and has through-stones that double up as seats. The entrance is aligned with the position of the rising sun on midsummer’s day and an aspen will be planted within the walls in February 2018.  treefold:centre is one of three treefolds in Cumbria which have been built to mark the creation of a new Charter for Trees, Woods and People. The words carved into the three treefolds link to form a full poem.  This fixed point acts as an enduring marker in the ever changing forest landscape.

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Hazel Stone



22 July 2017, 11am - 12pm, Free

Photographer Rob Fraser and writer Harriet Fraser, whose collaborative exhibition The Long View is the Galleries this summer will be giving a talk about the background to the work. They’ll share stories from two-years of walking and encounters with seven remarkably ordinary trees in Cumbria; their experience of tackling the 130km link walk between the trees; how they chose the trees; their creative approach; and the evolution of a collaborative practice that blends images, words and temporary installations inspired by trees and the layered history of the landscape.

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Hazel Stone

Rob and Harriet Fraser


22nd June – 10th October 2017

Meeting seven remarkably ordinary trees in extraordinary locations.

Over two years Rob and Harriet Fraser have walked repeatedly to seven lone trees in Cumbria and spent time with them in all seasons, all weathers, night and day. This exhibition of photographs, poetry, video and installations reveals a deepening relationship with these trees and the land they overlook, and is an invitation to pause and share the wonders of the arboreal world.

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Hazel Stone

Karen Shepherdson


7 June - 31 October 2017

In April Grizedale Forest hosted Karen Sheperdson's touring project 'The Welcome Rest', offering free photographic portraits of dogs and their owners.

This exhibition displays selected portraits taken in the forest, revealing the complex and frequently tender relationships and bonds between dogs and their companions.

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Hazel Stone

Meadhbh O’Connor


30th January - 11th June 2017

Biosystem is a solo exhibition by Méadhbh O’Connor. Méadhbh (pronounced ‘Mave’) is an Irish artist who works at the conjunction of art, science and environmentalism.

The exhibition brings together sculptural installation art that aims to draw attention to our place in a wider natural system that is both powerful and fragile. A constellation of ‘living orbs’, commissioned by the Forestry Commission, are presented as a walk-through gallery installation. The artwork loosely refers to the modern emphasis on and developments in environmental sciences, James Lovelock’s Gaia Hypothesis, graphic illustration in Sci-fi fantasy literature and film, horticultural design and many other references.

Biosystem, an exhibition open to interpretation, aims to offer visitors an imaginative space that reminds us of our position as one part of a much broader and highly-complex eco and climate system; a system upon which we depend for our survival, health and wellbeing.


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Hazel Stone

Mariele Neudecker


1 October 2016 - Ongoing

In Faintly Falling Upon All the Living and the Dead three life sized trees are transplanted into the gallery space. They allude to the stillness of a forest clearing, without the sound of wind or creaking boughs. Held in suspension, we are able to examine the exquisite detail of the bark and delicate forest floor on our own eye level.

The work of artist Mariele Neudecker is an ongoing exploration of the landscape tradition in art, and the changing representation and reception of nature and landscape. The context of the surrounding forest and Lake District provides a special setting from which to observe the changing meaning of landscape over time.

Neudecker has exhibited widely nationally and internationally, including solo exhibitions at the IKON Gallery, Birmingham, Tate St Ives, Tate Britain, London, the Zeppelin Museum, Friedrichshafen, as well as in Biennales in Japan, Australia and Singapore. Group exhibitions include MODEL, Galerie Rudolfinum Praha (2015), ANTARCTROPIA at the Antarctic Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale (2014) and ARCTIC, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark (2013).

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Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016

Hazel Stone

3 September 2016 - 1 January 2017

The Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016 presents a shortlist of 60 exceptional environmental photographs, from a submission of ten thousand images by photographers and filmmakers from across seventy countries. The exhibition will be on show at Royal Geographical Society, before touring to Grizedale Forest, supported for the fourth year by Forestry Commission England.

The photographs and films reflect the urgent environmental and social concerns that surround us today. Topics include recent natural catastrophes induced by the changing climate, the effects of population growth on the urban environment, and the resourceful ways in which the human race is preserving the earth’s biodiversity.

The exhibition at Grizedale Forest will be accompanied by a portfolio showcase by Pedram Yazdani, winner of the Forestry Commission England People Nature and Economy Award 2016.       @EPOTYcomp      #EPOTY16

Seeing the Forest Through the Trees

Hazel Stone

18 September - 6 December 2015

The lifestyles of plants are a source of inspiration in this unusual living exhibition at Grizedale Forest as part of the AND Festival 2015.

Over the course of evolution plants have developed their own peculiar body shapes, lifestyles and modes of reproduction. Celebrating plants lives, the artworks invite the audience to inquire into the plant behaviours, their ability to think, fantasize and dream.

Featuring international artists Brandon Ballengee, Karl Heinz Jeron, Chiara Esposito, Špela Petrič, Dimitris Stamatis, Jasmina Weiss, Pei-Ying Lin, Allison Kudla, Kathy High and Oliver Kellhammer.

Curated by Monika Bakke.


AND Festival 2015

Hazel Stone

18 - 20 September 2015  

Abandon Normal Devices (AND) Festival is a dynamic festival of ground-breaking art, digital culture and new cinema, taking place in Grizedale Forest between Fri 18- Sun 20 September 2015. This Autumn, in collaboration with the Forestry Commission England’s Forest Art Works programme, Abandon Normal Devices will transform Grizedale Forest in the heart of the Lake District into an exhilarating and illuminating retreat that will reveal the secret architecture of the forest through a programme of artworks, experiences, trails and film happenings.

Artists, designers, scientists and filmmakers have been brought together by AND to explore the woodlands and nature’s processes, examining the forest from a different viewpoint informed by the newest technology. The programme will give visitors new sensory perspectives on the forest, through the eyes and ears of plants, animals and machines. Including one of the first groups shows dedicated to understanding plant intelligence, an alternative communication system powered by the forests natural energy, the opportunity to experience the fantastical forest through the eyes of an animal and the creation of a love hotel for insects.

Featuring new commissions and artworks by artists Liam Young & Tim Maughan, Marshmallow Laser Feast, Joshua Soaffer, Brid A, Brandon Ballongee, Jen Southern, Matthew Plummer-Fernandez and Isabella Rossellini.

Abandon the obvious. Prepare to be offline. Leave for the woods!


In the Eyes of the Animal  Marshmallow Laser Feast

A new commission enabling audiences to encounter England’s forests anew through an immersive virtual reality experience, told by the inhabitants of the forest. Creative collective Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) delight in exploring the line between virtual & real-world experiences and with this project will be taking audiences to a unique virtual reality setting created specifically for the Forest. This piece was filmed using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or ‘drones’ and bespoke 360º cameras, and is set to a binaural soundtrack using audio recordings sourced from the surrounding woodland.

Seeing the Forest Through The Trees / Various Artists

This topical and enlightening exhibition dedicated to the lifestyles of plants, features artworks which celebrate plants as active and autonomous beings perceiving the world in ways both alien and familiar to us. From looking at plant intelligence to the queer sex of plants these works will demonstrate the need to understand plants on their own terms. Featuring world class artists Karl Heinz Jeron, Chiara Esposito, Spela Petric, Dimitris Stamatis and Jasmina Weiss, Pei- Ying Lin. Curated by Monika Bakke.

Love Motel for Insects  Brandon Ballongee

The UK Premiere of a new iteration of Love Motel for Insects, site specific to Grizedale Forest, will be a large-scale living sculpture for the forest inviting insects from across the forest to stay at the Love Motel for the festival. This sculpture will be on site for a month using ultra-violet lights on enormous sculpted canvases to attract an array of bugs and insects, the motel will create an opportunity for people to interact with the rarely seen nocturnal arthropods.

Spreadkom  Brid A

Spreadkom is an alternative communication system created especially for the forest by Italian collaborators Brid A, The new commission will encourage you to think about our forgotten and hidden abilities to communicate, distributed throughout the forest will be a series of devices, all powered by air, water or sunlight. These devices will be able to communicate with each other and with listeners (visitors) by sending different sound codes, mimicking the natural sounds of the forest. Spreadkom avoids the use of a central operation unit based network like GPS or internet and emphasises alternative ways of communication and orientation without relying on standard technology that permit all sorts of abuse by the possibility of tracking or spying.

Where the City Can’t See  Liam Young

From a viewing pontoon deep within the forest, we can see the landscape through the eyes of the machines that construct it. Revealed via emerging technologies of laser scan surveyors, this short film seen through observation equipment, exposes a vibrant and hidden underground community. Where the City Can’t See is a prelude to the world’s first fiction film made entirely from data by author Tim Maughan and designed and directed by speculative architect Liam Young.

The majority of the programme taking place in Grizedale Forest is FREE with a small number of events being ticketed. The full programme including the film programme, further screenings, installations, online projects, public realm interventions, debates, workshops and live events, will be revealed at the end of July 2015. Tickets will also be released at the end of July along with camping options for festival visitors.

Abandon Normal Devices (AND) Festival 2015 is hosted by partners Forestry Commission England’s Forest Art Works programme and supported using public funding by Arts Council England with additional support from South Lakeland District Council and the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. Participating partners include Lakes Culture, Kendal Calling, Lancaster University Eden Arts, Florence Mine and Heart of Glass, HOME, Drugo More, Cumbria Bio-diversity Centre, FACT, The Brewery Kendal.

Abandon Normal Devices is a commissioning agency and a catalyst for new approaches to art-making and digital invention. We create ground breaking projects which challenge the definitions of art and moving image with a distinct emphasis on creative enquiry and provocations. AND brings together an eclectic mix of academics, filmmakers, scientists and anarchists to actively push the boundaries of audience experience and arts production. Inviting artists to hijack the imagination, by developing projects which abandon traditional settings and partnerships.

The AND portfolio consists of film happenings, exhibitions, performances, online projects, residencies, public realm interventions and a roaming biennial festival. AND Festival is the UK’s first roaming festival of cinema, art and digital culture, which maps fresh geographical and digital domains every two years. It takes place nationally and internationally and is a catalyst for partners and artists to explore different contexts and curatorial models. AND was established in 2009, as a unique partnership between Cornerhouse, FACT and folly. AND is funded by Arts Council England.        @ANDfestival


Eden Restored: The Mesopotamian Marshes of Iraq

Hazel Stone

Esme Allen, winner Forestry Commission Exhibition Award 2015

Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2015

18 July - 7 September 2015

Photojournalist Esme Allen travelled to Iraq in 2012 with Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to support and document the work of the organisation Nature Iraq in the Mesopotamian Marshes.

The photos are a beautiful and fascinating account of the lives of indigenous ‘Marsh Arabs’, whose lives in the marshes of Iraq were devastated by large scale draining of their homeland by Saddam Hussein in the 1990s. After the fall of the regime the arid marshes were re-flooded when people broke through the embankments holding back the water. The return of the plants, animals and community to this unique landscape speaks of the resilience of people and environment to respond and be restored after ecological destruction and crisis.

This year the Forestry Commission England Exhibition Award will be shown in tandem with the Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2015, giving one photographer the chance to display a portfolio of work focussing on one environmental story in depth, outdoors in the grounds of Grizedale Forest.


This exhibition would not be possible without Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, the Centre for Middle Eastern Plants and Nature Iraq.