THE FOREST CHORUS

‘The chorus too should be regarded as one of the actors; it should be an integral part of the whole, and share in the action…’

                   Aristotle, Poetics, Chapter 18

I am a multi award-winning multimedia artist and writer and I want you to join me in the Forest Chorus, a private members club I am establishing in 2022.

My art has taken me to China, Greece, the USA and beyond. My PhD thesis considered the tangled relationship between words and images spread over 3,000 years of Western art history and literature. I have made pictures, poems and stories in Japan and Singapore, and I am currently working on a seven-year project, Triple Enlightenment, set in past, modern-day and future India. This project uses my drawings, films, prints, photography and poetry to explore the environment, mental health and spirituality, and will be exhibited in museums in the UK, India and South Korea. You can view work in progress from the second part, and highlights of the completed third part here on my website.

In the coming decade, as well as staging Triple Enlightenment, I will publish my first artist’s monograph, more of my poetry and my PhD thesis with an academic publisher, learn Hindi, pay off a sizeable chunk of my mortgage, continue to teach at Oxford University, and raised my baby boy Siddharth with my wife Ritu.

As part of the Forest Chorus, you will join me on each of these journeys, apart from the last one, although we hope you meet Sid soon! And you won’t even be asked to sing. Unless you really want to. You will be given a wide range of discounts and Chorus-only benefits. Twice a year, I stage events exclusively for you. In autumn/winter, these centre on a grand buffet at my home or studio, followed by a presentation of current works in progress, seeking your direct input. Think of these as a cross between an open studio and a test-screening for short films, with some great food and booze thrown in. In summer, I will also show work in progress with a picnic or barbecue and ask for constructive criticism. In addition, I will run occasional Chorus-only events, such as short, guided walks in my neighbourhood, which includes the William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow Wetlands and Epping Forest, and tours further afield such as around Tate Modern and the National Gallery.

My wife Ritu and I outside my group studio on E17’s Wood St. This is a Victorian school’s workshop, the interior of which has been completely modernised (see below). We are a stone’s throw from God’s Own Junkyard.
My home studio: our converted attic.
I share the studio with other artists, including the Wood Street Walls group and my fellow UAL lecturer Doug Fishbone.
Wood St was recently voted the best street in Britain by the Academy of Urbanism, a group of leading architects, planners and developers.
We are are a short walk from Epping Forest, shown here on a picnic I had with my friend, the artist Douglas White and his son Robin.
Walthamstow Wetlands, Europe’s largest urban wetlands are also in our borough. Photograph courtesy of secretldn.com
Part of my home library: at the Chorus open studios, I will showcase books that are particularly influential on my work. The library consists of over one thousand titles from all fields of knowledge, with a focus on visual art and poetry. As well as my reading, I have undergone five years of Jungian psychodynamic counselling, which helps me channel my dreams, memories and other parts of my psyche into my work.
I have two decades’ worth of leading group critiques (‘crits’) through my lecturing work at Oxford University, the University of the Arts, London and the Royal College of Art. I use these skills in leading the Chorus open studio events. Photograph courtesy of Martin Parr.
My art draws on a wide range of influences, from my own life experiences and interest in natural history and early cinema, to world mythologies, especially those of Celtic, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and Ancient Greek and Roman cultures.

The Forest Chorus will allow me to work completely independently as an artist, collaborating with commercial galleries and other institutions as and when I need, but without becoming beholden to outside commercial interests and pressures. Like other artists using digital platforms, I am pioneering a business model focussed more on process than outcome. But the Forest Chorus also offers you excellent incentives to own the final ‘products’ of my art. For a sense of the returns you can expect on your investment, view my multimedia projects here, my writing here, and my CV here. 

To see the subscription tiers, click here. Read sample pages pages from my private blog, the Green Book, here.

Once you have joined, you will be able to enter the Forest Chorus shop here, see the ‘Forest clearing’ (announcements page) here, and read the Green Book here.

It is my conviction that you will enjoy being part of the Chorus so much that you will want to subscribe for the rest of our lives. Join me! 

Warmly,

Justin