Grizedale Forest

In 1999, Jill Randall won an open competition to undertake a prestigious International Residency for 3 months in Grizedale Forest, Cumbria, resulting in the major new sculpture, “Torment of the Metals”, which now forms part of the reknowned permanent collection of Grizedale Arts.

Working primarily with copper and its associations as a conductor of the elements, Randall was interested in introducing new and contrasting materials , borrowed from the language of industry, into the forest.

The title of the work, “Torment of the Metals”, is an alchemic term, referring to a stage in the allegoric process of transforming base metals into gold, and also references the transformation of the copper from rock subject to great heat and pressure to the manufactured components of the sculpture. It also alludes to the local copper mining industry on the fells of Coniston, dominating the skyline from the forest. A touchstone to another world, an ironic reference to the copper ore rock contained in the sculpture, which defies gravity and remains intangible, the work creates magical effects with the qualities of the material, which changes over time, acknowledging the passage of time and the constant flux of the forest environment, the weather, river levels, the cycle of felling and planting trees, the ebb and flow of visitors.

“…..The timespan of the forest -the Silurian Age, 300 years of tree planting, my 3 months touching so lightly on that great span of time…” from Jill Randall’s sketchbook, Feb 1999.)

Publication:”Pristine”- New Work from Grizedale Forest. ISBN 0 9525 450 7 1

Photography: David Bennett and Samantha Jones.