This sculptural basket is an explosive and joyous celebration of solidarity, resilience and the vibrancy of the people of the Forest of Dean. It draws together the stories of a community living in a unique landscape with a rich heritage arising from an ancient, working forest: challenges faced, barriers overcome, friendships forged, and identities that are inextricably linked to a sense of place. This artwork weaves a selection of these narratives together with elements of the forest, in the form of a sculptural basket.

“Confetti printed with the stories of local participants erupts from the canon in a colourful explosion, giving their stories centre stage as they break free from the confines of the basket and announce themselves in all their glorious vibrancy!”

Basket woven with charred branches covered in confetti

Explore the contours of a basket woven from charred branches reflecting the former charcoal industry of the forest in this captioned film.

The branches are secured to an iron frame by wool spun from the fleece of a Welsh Mountain Black sheep, a nod to the ancient rights of Foresters to allow their sheep to roam freely through the area, and to the miners who worked the iron mines below the forest floor. Hidden within the basket is a confetti canon that fires a joyous explosion of coloured paper, printed with the words and conversations gathered from local people through the R&D process.

Voices, thick with the Forest accent, accompany the film, revealing local insights and illustrating the resilience and solidarity of the Foresters, both past and present.

Fabrication of artwork and video commissioned by Unlimited with funding from Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Filed in: Basketcase Commission