Other aspects of the Millennium Forests project included a mobile exhibition, a schools programme,a video on native woodlands, books about the project, local events (including forest walks and seed collections) and a native woodland training programme for practitioners, land- and woodland owners.
NATIVE WOODLAND MOBILE EXHIBITION:
The MILLENNIUM FORESTS mobile exhibition toured the country in 2001 and 2002 and visited major towns and events.
The exhibition was in an eye-catching trailer with a vibrant forest scene on the exterior.
Inside you would have found:
Introduction and explanation of the project
- Woodland sites and their locations
- Native trees panel
- Cultural information
- Woodland fauna
- Sustainable Forest Management
- NGO logos and briefs
- An audio-visual unit housed in native tree trunks.
The interior of the exhibition focused on the use of images and tactile materials such as leaves, acorns, bark, etc., resulting in a more visual and interactive experience. A display cabinet on board was used to display timber exhibitions produced by woodturners and other craftsmen.
As part of the overall programme for The Millennium Forest project, three Irish timber sculptures were commissioned to be located at three of the sites; Cullentra, Lough Gill, Co. Sligo, Ballygannon, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow and a third site to be determined in consultation with the Tidy Towns competition (the winner of 2000 Tidy Towns Competition was Kenmare). Sculpture in Woodland was appointed to project manage the commissioning process, which involved an open competition. The Millennium Forest project also funded a sculpture in Killarney National Park to celebrate Groundwork's 20th Anniversary in September 2000.
Derek Whitticase's proposal was selected for Ballygannon and was completed in early November 2000. The sculpture, entitled Black Stack, is constructed from a length of oak, sixteen feet high and approximately two feet in diameter at the base. The completed piece was then charred and invokes images of both a classical column and an industrial chimney stack. It is a part of the natural environment where it is sited and at the same time, through its construction and colouring, slightly at odds with it. Black Stack is intended to operate as a monument to Ireland's indigenous woodlands and is sited in an intimate setting, surrounded by mature oak trees.
French artist, Frederic Subtil, was selected to realise his proposal, Tearmann, at Cullentra, Co. Sligo and this was completed in October, 2000. The site is different to that at Ballygannon; it is very open and faces towards Lough Gill and the Isle of Innisfree, which was made famous in Yeats' poem. Frederic took inspiration from the idea of the island as Yeats' sacred space and the focal point of the sculpture is the space that it encompasses. He was also inspired by megalithic tombs in the surrounding area and the associated spiritual quality. The title Tearmann is an Irish word which can mean shelter, refuge, retreat and sanctuary and the deliberate architectural quality of the work suggests this and also allows visitors to enter the work itself. Tearmann is 6 metres in height and 5.5 metres in diameter and was created using 39 lengths of Scots pine, a native Irish conifer, which died out in Ireland around 1000 years ago and was re-introduced some 400 years ago.
The three sculptures are a unique and stunning way to mark the new millennium through the Millennium Forest and they are now on view at Cullentra, Ballygannon and Kenmare.