As an educational charity Fermynwoods aims to: improve the quality of life by providing high quality contemporary art experiences; and advance education of the public by increasing access to lifelong learning through the arts.
Fermynwoods reaches non-traditional audiences and individuals who may be excluded from the arts, by curating artist residencies and artwork in public spaces across the Rockingham Forest area and beyond.
Given our rural location, and our residency venue in Fermyn Woods, we develop projects that link the rural and the urban, the local and international, and explore social and natural environments in their widest sense.
Communities and Artists in Residence
We curate community-based, art practice-led projects; inviting Artists in Residence to work alongside members of diverse communities, such as:
Interchange (2011) – artists David Littler, Jo Roberts and Simon Woolham were based on a narrow boat, travelling along the River Nene and Grand Union Canal, engaging with communities along the banks and on the water.
Virginie Litzler and Rebecca Birch were Artists in Residence in the Corby Cube, interacting with people who visit and work in the various departments throughout the building, to create new work for the Cube, as part of our Gesture programme (2012-14).
Japanese artist Tomoko Take researched different communities’ responses to the Purple Emperor butterfly for her film shown in Fermyn Woods Country Park (2012-15).
Artist and poet Sophie Herxheimer talked, walked and worked with dog walkers, anglers, twitchers, woodland volunteers and others who visit Rockingham Forest to create new drawings and poetry for The Listening Forest (2014-15).
Public Places and Temporary Interventions
We commission new work and present existing work by established and emerging artists in response to a range of urban and rural locations, including:
To mark the opening of the Corby Cube (2010), we commissioned Dutch artist Simon Heijdens’ Tree projection, which responded to its environment by growing leaves when it rained and shedding them when visitors walked by, referencing the trees that had been cut down to make way for the new building.
For ENCOUNTERS, journeys through language and landscape (2011), we presented When will you be happy, by Jitish Kallat at Lyvden New Bield, reflecting on the tragic life of its designer and builder Sir Thomas Tresham.
Alan Kane inserted items purchased from local charity shops into Nottingham Castle’s Fine and Decorative Arts collections for Make Believe, Re-Imagining history & landscape (2013), challenging the practice of museology.
For Habitat (2013) we commissioned sculptures by Alastair Mackie that explored real and imaginary places where people and wildlife could co-exist, in Barnwell Country Park.
Education and Lifelong Learning
We develop and deliver innovative formal and informal education programmes for schools, artists and members of the community. These include artist led workshops every week of the school year, with regular workshops for students from The CE Academy, in addition to periodic workshops with mainstream school groups.
Workshops take place either in school or community venues, or at our idyllic Sudborough Green Lodge venue in the middle of Fermyn Woods.
We also run a series of professional development activties for adults including our Free Exchange programme, as well as other skills based artist led workshops.