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The Forked Forest Path at Fabrica Gallery

The Forked Forest Path
The Forked Forest Path – Olafur Eliasson at Fabrica Gallery

This week I visited Olafur Eliasson‘s The Forked Forest Path exhibition at Fabrica Gallery. I walked into a tunnel of cross-hatched branches. Spotlights threw light on to the branches, highlighting their skeletal forms, while sunlight beamed in through high windows creating square pools of dappled light on the flagstone floor. There was a fairytale ambience – I thought of witches’ brooms and caught the faint smell of dusty earth, old barns, country museums, hay; the smell of time holding still, memories just out of reach. The exhibition has echoes of a stage set awaiting a moment of drama. It holds a presence, something to kindle the flame of imagination. I followed the path to a fork where I chose to go right.

Back in April I joined an online discussion about the exhibition. After watching a video of the artwork it was interesting to hear other peoples’ thoughts. There was talk of a dreamlike experience, of fairytales. Someone mentioned a portal. We discussed holloways, winter branches, the impoversishment of nature, the space as a sanctuary in the hectic life of the city and the sanctity of nature within an old sacred space. We contrasted the exhibition forest with a real one, noting the lack of movement – of dancing leaves – and colour. I couldn’t help but think of ruins reclaimed by nature that I’ve come across occasionally.

Chapel ruin, Norfolk
Chapel ruin, Norfolk

On our April trip to Dorset, we came to a similar fork in a woodland path:

Forked path at Martin Down NR
Forked path at Martin Down NR

Left or right?

To accompany exhibitions, Fabrica’s volunteers put together a magazine, The Response. I submitted a few relevant images of artwork with a forest theme (as I’m so into forests and woods!) before I realised the magazine is meant just for volunteers. If they use my images I think I owe them some volunteering.

Bark and moss covered diary
A diary covered with natural materials found in the woods – bark, moss, lichen, green woodpecker feathers, an acorn cup.
Forest Painting
Forest – acrylic gold and bronze trees washed over with blue. A recycled painting – can you see the wave-like figure in the landscape?
Forest Path
Forest Path – pen and ink. A similar illustration to the one on my website header.
the Forest Forager Altered Book
The Forest Forager Altered Book. I have nearly finished it. I wanted to make it a night scene, but then I thought ‘Who forages at night – apart from badgers?’

Click on the images for larger versions.

I am contributing to the exhibition in a different way – they are selling my concertina cards and sepia cards in the Fabrica shop – and they’ve been selling very well.

Cards in Fabrica shop
Cards in Fabrica shop

There have been some interesting events associated with the exhibition. Check out the blog of Steve Geliot, who is a current artist in residence at Fabrica. He has an interest in nighttime forays into the woods just outside Brighton.

6 thoughts on “The Forked Forest Path at Fabrica Gallery

  1. This looks wonderful Alexi, would love to see the exhibition if I lived a few thousand miles nearer!
    Your new altered book looks fabulous too.

    1. Hi Denise, thank you. It’s a lovely exhibition – I’m a big fan of anything to do with forests :)

  2. Magical to see ;-) Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Stella! it’s magical indeed.The exhibition is on for another week :)

    1. Thank you Andrea! I’ve had a lovely time looking at your website – very inspiring – I’ll be checking back :)

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