Gayle Chong Kwan


The People's Forest (2017)

Epping Forest is the inspiration for The People’s Forest, Gayle Chong Kwan’s two-year investigation into the history, politics, and people of London’s ancient woodland. Chong Kwan is exploring the forest as a site of shared and contested resources, conflict between capital and common, private and public, and as a liminal space between rural and urban. William Morris grew up close to Epping Forest and claimed to know it "yard by yard from Wanstead to the Theydons, and from Hale End to the Fairlop Oak". He supported the campaign to save the forest from enclosure.

At the centre of the project is The Fairlop Oak, Chong Kwan’s geometric sculpture of the famed pollarded trees in Epping Forest and the tree that once stood in nearby Hainault Forest, and which was the site of a famous 18c fair. Presented in smaller form at Walthamstow Garden Party in Lloyds Park, The Fairlop Oak will grow to eleven metres for its installation in October as part of The Art of Change, the Barbican’s foyer commissions programme.

The People’s Forest:
15/16 July 2017
The Fairlop Oak, Walthamstow Garden Party

30 July 2017 09.30 - 12.00
Explore the Sounds of the Forest Walk
The View, Epping Forest

13 August 2017
Grimstone's Oak Picnic, Epping Forest

October 2017 - March 2018
The Barbican

January – April 2018
William Morris Gallery

Autumn 2018
The View, Epping Forest

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