Residuum exhibition opens at Dalby Forest


An exciting new photographic and sculpture exhibition is now open at Dalby Forest. ‘Residuum’ is inspired by a very particular forest environment and how it has formed, flourishes and changes through natural processes and human activity.

This is a rich and sumptuous exhibition, presenting beautifully constructed and multi-layered photographs alongside intriguing carved stone sculptures which all take the micro-climate and life within some of the forest’s small glacial valleys as a focal point for examination and creative exploration.

The exhibitionis one of the outcomes of an artist residency commissioned by Forestry England and supported by Arts Council England. Sculptor Peter Maris invited artist and photographer Peter Heaton to embark on a collaborative programme of work together. Both are Yorkshire-based.

Peter Heaton’s striking images were made in a small area of the forest at High Staindale containing short steep valleys locally known as ‘griffs and slacks’. These features were created by glacial melt water and in this most ancient area of the forest, sunlight very rarely penetrates. In Peter’s images these are atmospheric spaces, dominated by mosses, ferns, deep shadows and …silence. There is constant change at work in these valleys – but it is imperceptible, a slow decomposition and green rebirth brought about by nature’s agents of change.

The sculptures form a fresh and engaging body of work by Peter Maris. They are inspired by the same subject matter but, importantly, are also a creative response to the photographic compositional processes. They are intentionally focussed towards a ‘picture-plane’ presentation and deal with the surface issues in sculptural composition. These new pieces use the very rugged, textured, natural ‘bed’ surface of the stone as an appropriate visual metaphor in which to explore with a range of mark-making techniques. They also refer to natural growth forms, decomposition and human activity.

Petra Young, Forestry England’s Funding and Development Manager, Yorkshire District, says:

‘We are excited to show the forest in a new light with our first indoor exhibition in 2021. It is an intriguing combination of art forms that complement each other beautifully and highlight the forest in a modern, contemporary way.’

Residuum is the first of four Peter Maris collaborations. The exhibition is part of a wide ranging arts programme created for Dalby Forest for all visitors to enjoy.