The first gallery installation of the project Forest – A Trip Out includes film, photography and interactive elements based on the changing landscape of the New Forest. The work is also on the website theinteractiveforest.com and can be followed through the social media links. This exhibition has four parts:
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.
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.
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.
The wall displays are based on the exhibition catalogue and are 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.