The Infinity Forest
'One in a million' Infinity Forest art installation by INSTAR is now available for the public to visit at Danbury Country Park.
The Explore Essex Arts Commission - Infinity Forest
The Explore Essex Arts Commission 2020 was created to raise public awareness about our environment and as part of the Essex Forest Initiativewhich is Essex County Council’s commitment to planting 375,000 trees throughout the county’s parks and green spaces over the next five years.
The Arts Commission was awarded to INSTAR - a partnership featuring artists Trish Evans and Nick Humphreys - who have previously worked with The Wildlife Trust, The National Forests and The National Trust.
INSTAR have created the 'Infinity Forest' at Danbury Country Park which now forms part of the areas landscape. It examines people's connections with the natural world through contemporary art and promotes the significance and importance of trees in helping to combat climate change, as well as providing a positive legacy.
The installation is an immersive three-metre-tall, upright ‘kaleidoscope’ of reflective surfaces which surround a Scots Pine tree sapling to create an internal ‘Infinity Forest’. The sapling was planted in March to help it establish itself ahead of the full installation in mid-April.
The Infinity Forest will be open to the public from 24 April 2021 and visitors to the park are being encouraged to view the ‘one in a million’ sapling by using the observation holes to gain a unique perspective of the Scots Pine inside.
Read on for our Q&A with INSTAR ahead of the art installation at Danbury Country Park.
Discover more about Danbury Country Park.
Summer of Tree Art - help us create a virtual #InfinityForest
Inspired by the wonder of trees, INSTAR have created a series of downloadable art packs suitable for all ages and abilities. We'll be releasing a new art pack each month - keep your eyes peeled for artistic ideas and inspiration!
We invite you to take time out to wander beneath the branches, look a little closer at the leaves and indulge in the magnitude trees grant us. From Tree-tracing, Collage and Capturing Canopies to Tree Lines, take a look and get creative!
Discover the downloadable Infinity Forest art packs and help us create a virtual #InfinityForest
Enter our virtual #InfinityForest competition
To celebrate the opening of the Infinity Forest Art Installation at Danbury Country Park, we launched a competition to win an Explore Essex Family Summer Garden Goody Bag - worth over £100!
We received some fantastic tree inspired artistic entries. Together you're helping us to create a virtual #InfinityForest.
Find out more about the competition, the prize and terms and conditions here.
Q&A with INSTAR
Q: What was the concept for the commissioned artwork?
A: Our work is entitled ‘Infinity forest’ and is simply a large kaleidoscope sculpture. Where one would usually view a hand-held kaleidoscope looking down a tube of mirrors, our large-scale Infinity Forest art work will be standing upright, inviting audiences and visitors to view the interior reflections through hatches. At the centre of the kaleidoscope is a single planted young tree (maybe a couple of years old so quite small), this tree reflects many times over, creating a fresh new Infinity Forest of the future, which in turn reflects the ambition of the Essex Forest Initiative.
Q: What were the steps, from concept to realisation?
A: We began with artwork development and then transformed and scaled up our vision. Starting with small mirror tiles, with a sapling in its centre which we grew from an acorn collected from under the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest, over time our model grew, the larger models helping us to work out the eventual scale. We worked closely with the park staff to research the most suitable native tree to plant, ensuring that it was compatible with the Danbury Park habitat and soil type. And chose a Scots Pine tree.
Alongside the structural plans of our artwork were our plans to adorn the facade of the piece. As artists this element is important and we were kept busy in our studio illustrating a number of artwork ideas taking inspiration from seasonal changes and traditional kaleidoscope art and imagery. Importantly, we wanted our commission to feel at home and to connect with its surroundings whilst also engaging visitors in a stunning and curious way.
Q: Why did you choose Danbury Country Park for the placement?
A: Art and the natural sciences have a centuries old relationship, both utilising curiosity as a key that opens the door to endless possibilities. We always start our projects with a lot of research into the area where our work will be situated, this is then followed by site visits, during which we immerse ourselves in the local habitats, eco-systems and wildlife as well as communities. After visiting many Essex County Parks we were spoilt for choice, eventually settling on Danbury as we felt that the site had the maximum opportunity for the public to experience the piece.