The Digital Forest – a new commission to connect audiences with nature through digital art

The Digital Forest

Grizedale Forest & Signal Film and Media with Art Fund support are launching an exciting new collaboration and opportunity for a digital artist to create a new, online participatory artwork inspired by Grizedale Forest in Cumbria.

During lockdown the forest continued to grow and wildlife became more abundant. People across the world stopped to listen to the birds, noticed nature’s details, and formed a new sense of value for access to outdoor space and nature.

The Digital Forest commission will capture a truly unique moment in time as visitors slowly return to enjoy the endless forest trails and vast sense of space at Grizedale. It has never been more important to get out in the fresh air and the huge benefits to people’s mental and physical wellbeing are well known.

This project has been designed so that under-represented groups are very much part of that reconnection as we open up the forest. The commissioned artist will work alongside a local BAME/BIPOC community group to test innovative working practices aimed at helping develop artwork beyond the physical forest so that more people, from more backgrounds, can engage with art inspired by the forest.

Hazel Stone, Arts Development Manager, Grizedale Forest says: “We are delighted to have secured funding from Art Fund and be working in partnership with Signal Film and Media on this new project. Since 1977 artists have created work in the landscape at Grizedale taking inspiration from this working forest, learning from foresters, ecologists, wildlife rangers and recreation rangers which has seen artists such as Andy Goldsworthy, David Nash, Richard Harris and Sally Matthews amongst others develop their practice as emerging artists in this very special of places. This is a unique history and environment for arts audiences and non-arts audiences to engage with art and landscape and this project will push our commissioning practice into new and innovative areas at a time when access to and connection with nature has never felt more important.”

Loren Slater , Co-Director Signal Film and Media says: “What’s so exciting and important about this project is that it increases access and inclusivity with our wonderful forests and with the creation of new digital and online artworks. Engaging wide, diverse audiences with the forest through the online artwork through bespoke activities will be a huge part of the project so our hope is that many, many people from all backgrounds will benefit.”

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of assessors which includes FACT Liverpool Senior Producer Charlotte Horn and Invisible Flock Technical Director Ben Eaton.

To download the brief and for applications go to the Signal Film & Media website at and Grizedale Forest website at

The closing date is 5th October 2020. Fee = £3000 + £1000 production / expenses allowance.

Arts – Cumbria Crack