Evolving the Forest is back!

This time as festival with a focus on film, on trees and on forests.

Small trees or big trees, small films or big films.

Films about people, the environment and trees. Art meets philosophy meets Hollywood meets science. Spectacular, immersive, thought-provoking, adrenaline-fuelled. International, local, high in the canopy, under the soil.

This is the third iteration on Evolving the Forest finding ways to talk meaningfully about our connections with trees. First a symposium, then a book, now a festival of film. In April 2023 join us in person or online for a three day international film festival: a juried selection of shorts, micros and feature-length films, interviews with film-makers, conversation and creative workshops.

Over three afternoons and evenings the programme will be screened to a live audience in South Devon and will also be made available on-line together with live interviews with makers. We are offering two prizes, one for best independent film and one for best student-produced film with winners to be announced on the Saturday evening just before the feature film screening.

Alongside Festival 2023 is offering workshops around film and visual media in the glorious woodland environments in and around Dartington Hall in South Devon (UK).  Buy a festival ticket (soon) and immerse yourself in three days of extraordinariness or pick and choose films & sessions that suit you.

Those that have been on our forest-evolving journey with us know we like to challenge. Come and see some films out of your interest area or even comfort zone. Retreat back to what you know then come back out again to see the way others view or relationship with trees.

We are now accepting submissions for the film competition; and if you want to lend us your email in order to receive news as it becomes available sign up below.

A bit of background…

Evolving the Forest began life in 2019 with a major symposium that let the often polarised worlds of arts, science, politics and philosophy of trees come together.  With over 80 speakers and 250 attendees it broke many boundaries and was truly a unique event in the world of trees and forests.

It was followed in 2020 by a beautiful and richly illustrated book Evolving the Forest containing an equally eclectic range of contributions, ideas and opinions; there are just a small number of this extraordinary 442 page book left so grab one now. With the books themselves almost gone we now offer the publication available as an eBook. Not the same, but just as rich in content if not in feel.


About the Organisers

art.earth grew out of the Language, Landscape & the Sublime symposium which took place in June 2016 at Dartington Hall and Sharpham House. Primarily we think of art.earth as a space for thought, for making, for collaboration and for conversation.

art.earth celebrates and supports artists who look outward. This might mean quite explicitly talking about environmental or ecological issues, or it might mean a much broader sense of the ecological: something that is open, enquiring, caring, and considerate of the world (people and places) it inhabits. To do this we hold events (informal and otherwise), we nurture ideas and sometimes careers, we curate exhibitions and we disseminate knowledge.

This breadth is important – an ecological impetus; an embracing of the ecological thought (after Morton).

This work focuses on how we live on the planet and on art as a practice of being present and being here. Based on the Dartington estate, we are a centre for learning and creation, each year attracting some of the most enquiring minds and some of the most creative people from across the world to come and spend time finding new energy and knowledge.

Evolving Forests began life in 2014 as Timber Strategies, born out of experience with the Silvanus Trust engaging woodland owners and forestry businesses and the Architectural Association School of Architecture. The aim was to push together all the exciting elements of these organisations into a business that inhabited the expanse between tree growing and timber use. It felt like an area that was little understood and well overdue to erupt in meaning and colour.

Evolving Forests works with people that want to use more timber but in a more considered way and with people who want to grow trees for the benefit of the ecosystem, society, and beyond. We help people take technological innovation and combine it with craft-based approaches to managing our environment and our material needs; to create truly circular economies that form symbiotic relationships with treescapes we inhabit the landscape with.