“Are you one? Do you consider yourself NATIVE to the New Forest? You don’t have to work directly with the land, you don’t have to own a pony or know the names of each tree, you don’t even have to live there. You do have to feel a personal connection to this ancient landscape, in some way or other, however small or large, intimate or professional, one that goes beyond utility: just being there and using it. That connection is what makes you NATIVE; unique in the way that you see and value the Forest, whilst at the same time being part of a wider diverse community of New Forest Natives.”
We will be looking for New Forest Natives to help create a visionary landscape, one that is inspired by the real Forest but is not made of soil, water, tree and animal but of how it is seen by different people, how it infiltrates the imaginations of those who love it, how it nourishes and inspires those who consider themselves attached to it, committed to it. This will be an inclusive landscape of the imagination, a new way of articulating why the Forest is so important and how we might live sustainably with this truly extraordinary place.
New Forest Natives is a creative leap of hope and imagination in these challenging times. It takes the focus that lockdown has offered us to reconsider what we value most deeply in this world, and builds on it: a way of expressing want we intend to pass on to future generations.
To take part: just consider how you are NATIVE.
For NFN posts go HERE
In the Background
This project started with a research residency (autumn 2019) at Hilltop, a heathland right on the eastern edge of the New Forest National Park bordering onto the Fawley Oil Refinery. For this short residency I worked with fellow artist and founding member of artNucleus, Reinhild Beuther. From that we have developed a proposal for a Forest-wide project, New Forest Natives, planned for 2021.