New spooky arts installation shows 'eyes in the trees' at Sherwood Forest

A photographic exhibition which focuses on ‘eyes’ found in trees is on display out among the trees in Sherwood Forest .

Visual artist Gary Dawes has created a series of works entitled LOOKER, Watchers of the Forest, which aims to raise awareness to the threats faced by trees, woodlands and forests around the world, and is the first exhibition of its kind to be displayed on the Major Oak trail at the reserve.

LOOKER is part of a land-art project ‘Outsider’ which Gary started in 2017, with the idea of exhibiting his photographs out in a natural setting, and away from traditional indoor gallery spaces.

Gary, who is self-taught, said: “Forests stir the primordial imagination and serve as a setting in countless myth and folklore tales. Arboreal forms, colours and textures have a beauty in their own right.

LOOKER exhibition Sherwood Forest along the Major Oak Trail

“I feel a deep affinity with the natural world, and that is something I try to express in my work. That said, I have no interest in political statements, visual or otherwise. Art and nature transcend politics for me.”

Having relocated to Nottinghamshire almost a decade ago, Gary also hopes his exhibition will pave the way for other creatives across the region.

He said: “By fusing together art and nature here in Sherwood Forest, I hope to open up more opportunities which may help other independent artists like myself, because I know how hard it can be to find spaces to get your work exhibited and seen by new audiences.”

Read More

Read More
Summer is alive and kicking! 10 things to do in Mansfield area this weekend
LOOKER exhibition Sherwood Forest along the Major Oak Trail

Jess Dumoulin, Sherwood Forest national nature reserve visitor experience manager, said: “Much of our conservation work at Sherwood is dedicated to the protection of our magnificent ancient oak trees which have survived here for hundreds of years.

“They really have seen many things during those centuries, so Gary’s work provides a thought-provoking perspective, turning the tables on us as viewers or admirers of the trees to highlight a very topical issue for the natural world.”

Sherwood Forest is famously associated with the legend of Robin Hood, welcoming about 350,000 visitors per year.

It is home to one of Europe’s largest collections of ancient oak trees, with almost 1,000 across the wider Sherwood landscape area, many aged more than 500 years old, including the iconic Major Oak.

LOOKER exhibition Sherwood Forest along the Major Oak Trail

Gary’s LOOKER exhibition can be seen until November.