Fermynwoods: The Listening Forest


East Midlands, UK


December 2014


March 2015


The Listening Forest is a publication of poems, prints and paper cuts by Sophie Herxheimer, made during her 2014-2015 residency in Rockingham Forest.

Sophie had been collecting stories on the concept of home at Barnwell Country Park the previous year as part of Habitat. Fermynwoods invited Sophie to trade her normal London scenery for the forest for a longer residency – this time collecting and drawing people’s stories about nature in front of their eyes.

Sophie describes her process as “a jaunty collision between therapy, sideshow, and performance”. With her brush loaded with ink, a conversation ensued. You don’t have a story about the woods? I’m sure you do. And soon tales of naked cyclists, bee stings in unfortunate places and barefoot running with deer materialised on the page. “What I choose to draw from their story, and what I choose to write down, is perhaps only 10% of what they’ve told me, so I have to choose the right bit, and that is poetry.” At the end of the conversation, the storyteller was handed a copy of the image they inspired and the original made its way into The Listening Forest.

Click here for residency website


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