Poet and artist in residence opportunity

Mackerel skies over Temple Meads cr Judy DarleyThe University of Bristol is seeking one poet and two artists-in-residence to commission to work with the University and local communities. The successful applicants will be expected to reflect on, imagine and daydream about the new Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus, which is due to open close to Temple Meads in Bristol in 2021/22.

Each residency will pay up to £8,000, with each artist expected to work for around six to eights weeks within one calendar year from the start date, which is likely to be June 2018.

The closing date for applications is midnight on Tuesday 8th May. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview to present their proposals on Tuesday 22nd May.

They say: “The Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus will give us opportunities to work with the city, create jobs and celebrate Bristol culture. The development will turn an eyesore into a green, open campus that benefits the whole city. The new campus will concentrate on educating postgraduate students, attracting top talent from across the UK and around the world. We’re talking with communities, businesses and the Council to shape our plans, which include landmark buildings for postgraduate teaching, learning and collaboration. Work here will focus on digital technologies, the innovation they drive and how they’re used by people, organisations and industry.”

Find full details of how to apply here.

Got an event, opportunity, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at judydarley(at)iCloud(dot)com.

Collected – 10,000 Trees

Hollow by Katie PatersonFunny how big things sometimes seems small, and sprawling things can feel contained. Nestled in a corner of the University of Bristol’s elegant Royal Fort Gardens, you’ll find a neat gathering comprised of ten thousand trees, stretching quietly skywards.

This is not how forests behave. Forests breathe and whisper, they spread and grown, they exhale fragrances of leaf mould, animal matter, the evidence of countless tiny lives.

Hollow by artist Katie Paterson.

This is not a forest, or even a copse, but a grotto, built from slim rectangular shards cut and smoothed from 10,000 species of tree. The colours waver from straw yellow to a rich henna hue. The wood here is organised, arranged, collected. Step inside, close your eyes and inhale the subtle sunlit woody smells, surrounded by straight-edged shapes arranged in an orderly fashion entirely at odds with any living wood you’ve ever entered. But perhaps that’s the point.

Judy Darley in Hollow by Katie Paterson.

This is the creation of Katie Paterson, who spent three years collecting the samples from forests, arboretums and private collections across the world. She’s an artist of extraordinary scope, having previous created a candle that recreates the smell of travelling through space, and a library in the form of a seedling forest that will be eventually be transformed into books no one currently alive will ever read.

In Hollow, Katie says she has tried to mimic the impression of being in a forest with light falling through trees – with carefully placed apertures allowing sunlight to stream inwards.

Hollow by Katie Paterson 2016

Except, in a forest, the light moves, as branches quiver and shift with the wind. A forest is never still, never silent, while in Hollow everything is frozen and soundless.

For me, that was a profound and moving difference. There is a moment of wonder as you enter and encounter so many pieces of so many trees, but you need to remind yourself that this is what they are – that over here may be a a sample from the Japanese Ginkgo tree in Hiroshima, and over here a piece from the tallest fir tree in Britain, the mightiest conifer in Europe – trees from different continents and eras.

Hollow detail by Katie Paterson

Hollow is not a forest, and nor does it claim to be. It is a human appropriation of the concept of the world’s trees – an orderliness imposed on something that should, by nature, be disorderly. It represents, I think, the tendency of humans to seek structure where none should be. Do visit it and step inside, take a moment to inhale and think, marvel that so many trees can make up such a small space, then remerge into the gardens where living trees move and breathe.

Hollow is a beautiful accomplishment, and an incredible collection, but in truth, its name tells you everything you need to know.