Gayle Chong Kwan's 11-metre high sculpture The Fairlop Oak takes root in the Barbican foyer
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Gayle Chong Kwan's 11-metre high sculpture The Fairlop Oak takes root in the Barbican foyer
The People's Forest: The Fairlop Oak, Barbican Foyers, 2017 by Gayle Chong Kwan.

LONDON.- On 14 October artist Gayle Chong Kwan’s monolithic 11-metre high sculpture The Fairlop Oak, took root in the Barbican, towering up through three floors into the ground floor foyers. The hybrid contemporary-historical installation draws together new, natural and man-made materials, with scores of small model houses created from waste packaging sitting atop felled branches from Epping Forest.

The Fairlop Oak is part of The People’s Forest, an ambitious two-year investigation by Chong Kwan into the politics, history of protest, and people of London’s ancient woodland, Epping Forest. Chong Kwan explores the forest as a site of shared and contested resources, conflict between capital and common, private and public, and as a threshold between rural and urban.

The original Fairlop Oak was a celebrated tree and also the site of a famous eighteenth century fair in Hainault Forest, its destruction signalled a warning for the threats to nearby Epping Forest. Chong Kwan’s installation references protests leading to the Epping Forest Act of 1878 when it was established as ‘The People’s Forest’, the M11 Link Road protests of the 1990s, and contemporary issues relating to protest, politics, and place.

Chong Kwan initially presented The People’s Forest: The Fairlop Oak in 6-metre form at Walthamstow Garden Party outside the William Morris Gallery in July where visitors contributed models of their homes to the work. The 11-metre version is part of Barbican’s 2018 season The Art of Change, which explores how the arts respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape, and part of the Barbican’s foyer commissions programme.

Chong Kwan’s research with diverse communities around Epping Forest has spanned walks, workshops, sensory feasts, and talks exploring the arboreal history, industries, politics, sounds, and personal memories of one of London’s oldest and largest open spaces, as well as examining local issues and the impact of globalisation. The research will evolve into a significant new body of work to be shown at William Morris Gallery 3 March – 20 May 2018 and later in the year, elements of the exhibition will be presented at The View exhibition centre in Epping Forest. William Morris grew up close to Epping Forest, which he credited as inspiring much of his work, and he campaigned to save the forest from enclosure.

Gayle Chong Kwan is a London-based artist whose large-scale photographic, installation and video work is exhibited internationally. She makes immersive environments and mise-en-scenes, constructed in states of resolution and dissolution between imagined futures, alternative presents, and fictional mechanisms. Works includes The Pan Hag, Forma, 2016; Anthropo-scene, Bloomberg Space, 2015; Arripare, REFOCUS Photography Prize, 2013; Wastescape, Southbank Centre, 2012; and The Obsidian Isle, New Forest Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 2011.

Epping Forest, which is managed by the City of London Corporation, is London and Essex’s largest open space, attracting nearly 5 million visits a year. The ancient woodland is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation.

Today's News

October 15, 2017

Exhibition presents Paris as seen through the eyes and hearts of eight Dutch artists

China museum removes photos comparing Africans to animals in racism row

Leopold Museum opens the most comprehensive retrospective in Austria of the oeuvre of Ferdinand Hodler

Armada Portrait returns to Greenwich after conservation

Stolen for 40 years, Norman Rockwell masterwork may bring $1 million at Heritage Auctions

Phillips Hong Kong announces highlights from the Fall Auction of Jewels and Jadeite

McCabe Fine Art exhibits a diverse selection of Louise Nevelson's late career works

Hidden film treasures brought to life in British vault

The Cleveland Museum of Art opens Beyond Angkor: Cambodian Sculpture from Banteay Chhmar

Shannon's Fine Art Auctioneers announces highlights from its 20th Anniversary Auction

Mona Hatoum's first solo exhibition in the U.S. in twenty years opens at the Menil Collection

Museum Ludwig, Cologne opens exhibition of photographs by Werner Mantz

Exhibition presents the work of four photographers connected by family ties

London Transport Museum opens exhibition featuring 130 original posters and artworks by women artists

KW Institute for Contemporary Art opens exhibition of works by British artist Lucy Skaer

Solo show featuring the works of the Turkish photographer Sitki Kosemen opens in Berlin

Exhibition at Freight+Volume presents a new body of work by Ezra Johnson

Gino Miles exhibition opens at the Polk Museum of Art

Asterix illustration sells for record 1.4 million euros

'Superpope' Francis T-shirts to help poor, needy

Philbrook bares all for Museum Confidential

Gayle Chong Kwan's 11-metre high sculpture The Fairlop Oak takes root in the Barbican foyer

PIASA announces highlights from its Contemporary African Art + Design sale

RRB Photobooks to publish Danish photographer 'Dublin' by Krass Clement

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful