Shadow Forests is a multi-media, immersive installation focusing on the intersections of deep time, climate change, and the expansive life and death of forests.
This exhibition in The Lord Mayor’s Pavilion will focus on representing four ancient forests, utilizing the artists’ field research and that of supporting scientists in each location: The 385-million-year-old Cairo and Gilboa fossil forests of New York are the oldest in the world, followed closely by the ancient tropical forests of Svalbard, High Arctic. The Gearagh in Cork is a 9,000-year-old submerged glacial woodland, flooded in 1954 to support a hydroelectric dam.
These forests are gone, leaving shadowy traces of what they once were. The artists capture these shadow forests in their work, and provide an introduction to the science behind their demise and their historic impact on the planet’s carbon. Deep time continues to influence the present day, and Shadow Forests will draw attention to the extraordinary history of trees, the critical nature of our existing woodlands, and the importance of preserving forested environments for the future.
About the Artists
Originally from Scotland and formerly a practicing physicist, Angela Gilmour now lives and works as a visual artist in Cork. Gilmour’s practice calls attention to urgent contemporary subject matter concerned with climate change, land possession, sustainable consumption and the political and environmental impact of land and sea borders. She explores landscapes that have suffered trauma in recent or deep geological time. Her work includes painting, drawing, print, photography and installation. Gilmour has exhibited nationally and internationally with shows across Europe, America and Australia. Her work is represented in private and public collections including: the Office of Public Works for the Irish State Collection; University College Cork; European Research Centre Tyndall National Institute; Irish Photonics Integration Centre; Manly Art Gallery and Museum, Australia and the Sciart Initiative at New York Hall of Science, America. She has received numerous awards and residencies including the prestigious Arctic Circle Residency where she met collaborating artist and writer Beth Jones.
Beth Jones is an American author, journalist, digital storyteller and educator based in Boston. By combining writing, research, video clips, personal and archival imagery, she reveals small personal moments where lives pivot on something as unexpected as a found object or a brief moment in time. Her digital stories also explore human engagement with extreme situations and environments including the climate crisis and trauma. Jones’ writing and visual material are both deeply personal and openly accessible, providing a platform for interaction with readers and viewers. She has written for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Scientific American, and many other outlets. She published an award-winning book with Little, Brown & Co., Inc., and is included in an essay collection published by University Press of New England. Her years as an educator in a variety of settings have informed her approach to presentation, and she is committed to making her material available to viewers and readers across cultures, ages and media.
The artists are extremely grateful for the generous scientific support provided to this exhibition by: Christopher Berry, Ph.D., University of Cardiff (Paleobotanist); William Stein, Ph.D., State University of New York, Binghamton, Professor Emeritus (Paleobotanist); Sean Mackay, Ph.D., (Glaciologist, Geomorphologist); Lisa Amati, Ph.D. New York State Museum (Paleontologist)