Julian Wild’s Gathering is an interactive and colourful artwork that consists of 12 coloured metal vertical forms grouped together in a clearing to represent natural structures found in the woodland, recalling shoots growing out of the ground.
Joined to these structures are several mirror-polished stainless-steel elements that resemble the shape of woodland fungi.
Julian worked with pupils at Heart of the Forest School, and included their ideas for incorporating tactile touch points, reflective surfaces and colours into the final piece.
Julian said: “Growing up in Gloucestershire, the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail was my first and most important encounter with sculpture out of the gallery environment.
"So it is a privilege for me to be commissioned to make a work for the Forest and I’m delighted to see Gathering in situ.
"Working with the teachers and students at Heart of the Forest School was an inspiring experience for me and I hope that they get enjoyment from this work for years to come.”
The second sculpture, installed a few weeks earlier, is Meander by Kristina Veasey, a steam-bent oak bench designed as a resting place that invites visitors following the trail to stop and spend time in the beauty of the forest.
Its strong, winding form represents the resilience and solidarity found woven through the landscape, heritage, and people of the Forest of Dean.
Both sculptures will remain on the trail permanently, bringing the total number of artworks on the trail to 18.
Both works are close to carparks (Beechenhurst and Speech House Woodlands car park respectively) and the shorter and more level routes to these new sculptures will hopefully allow more visitors to engage with the trail – particularly those who experience mobility issues or have young children and buggies.
The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust has created new audio description files for many of the sculptures that are available to download from the Trust website.
Providing detail and insight into the installations, they have been designed to improve the visitor experience for people with limited vision.
Sarah Bowden, chair of the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust, said: “The wellbeing benefits that come from being in nature and from experiencing art are well understood, so we want to ensure as many people as possible can enjoy the magical surroundings of the Sculpture Trail.”
“We’re really excited to be introducing Meander and Gathering to the trail, and it’s great that we’ve been able to use this opportunity to explore different ways of experiencing the sculptures.
"Both sculptures bring something new to the trail and we can’t wait to see them in place for visitors to enjoy.”