The Interactive Forest

Solent Showcase Gallery 157-187 Above Bar St, Southampton SO14 7NN
23rd October to 28th November 2105 Monday to Friday 11am to 6pm Saturday 11am to 5pm

New Forest Centre Gallery, Lyndhurst, HANTS, SO43 7NY

19th October to 23rd November 2013 – Open Everyday 10am to 4:30pm

The Forest Seasons

Each month follows the changing landscape in a series of films made in collaboration with musician and sound designer Natalia Data.  The changing energy of seasons inspires the look and feel of each section – from kinetic intensity to stately calm they each reflect an interpretation of what the landscape feels like in each month. The soundtrack reworks motifs from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and uses location sound effects treated and reworked in the studio to create a rich and evocative soundscape. The exhibition format uses an immersive triptych projected within a cube and an 8 point speaker system for sound.

Forest Drive By

Forest Drive By is a dual channel video that situates the viewer between two iconic routes across the New Forest landscape: The Ornamental Drive and the A31. Planted in the 1800’s and incorporating species of trees not indigenous to the area, the Ornamental Drive provides a picturesque forest landscape for the many visitors who walk, ride and drive along what is now a tarmac road. The A31 follows the route of an ancient track to the southwest and was contentiously expanded in the 1960s and 1970s. While the noise and fumes pollute the environment, the road also offers some of the most expansive views across the open forest.

The Interactive Forest

This multi-screen animation uses gaming technology to evoke a novel way for audiences to engage with the landscape. Taking two iconic visual components of the forest– the path and the tree – the piece incorporates specialist software that uses the 3D motion sensing technology of the Microsoft Kinect created by software designer Stuart Smith. The interactive elements allow the audience to explore the forest virtually by placing the silhouette of the viewer between the paths and the trees. This work invites the audience to reflect how technology is used to interpret the landscape and how the forest is affected by human presence.

In Search of a Vista

Over the course of a year a series of walks and explorations are documented in short photo essays. The locations chosen reflect research on historical and topological elements of the New Forest landscape – often forming the basis for future filming. The aesthetic of these images is drawn from classical conventions of composition in order to evoke a “picture postcard” look. The series is an ongoing process and reflects the changing seasons – each season being represented by 13 walks corresponding to its number of weeks. The images are displayed on wall panels and looped on a computer monitor.


The exhibition catalogue is  designed to evoke the look of the antiquarian Victorian books about the New Forest that have formed part of the research. The catalogue features an essay by Philip Hoare, author of England’s Lost Eden: Adventures in a Victorian Utopia about Victorians in the New Forest.


julian, konczak, installation, video, new, forest, a trip out, interactiveforest