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Artists taking the lead: Scotland

  • Date: 16 May 2011
  • Artform: Visual arts
  • Area: National
Man standing in forest holding football Craig Couthard, Artists taking the lead, Scotland, Credit: Paul Hermann

Forest Pitch - Craig Coulthard

Craig Coulthard's Forest Pitch will create a full size football pitch hidden within a forest. Commercial trees felled to make space for the pitch will be used to create goalposts, a shelter and other infrastructure on site.

Forest Pitch is part of Artists taking the lead, a series of 12 public art commissions across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Arts Council England is delivering the project in partnership with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Creative Scotland and the Arts Council of Wales.

The pitch will host two football matches in 2012, made up of amateurs from around Scotland who have taken up British citizenship since 2000. Spectators will be invited to represent the players' families and the local community, and the intervals between matches will be filled with performances and music forming a unique sporting and artistic event.

After the games, the site will be left to grow back naturally, with some native species replanted to encourage a more diverse environment. The shelter will remain as a simple documentation space and observation point, to witness the gradual reclamation of the pitch by the natural world.

To find out more about the project and how you could take part in the matches, visit the Forest Pitch website.

Forest Pitch is funded by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.

About the artist

Craig Coulthard was born in West Germany in 1981. He studied drawing and painting at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), graduating in 2002l. In 2003 he was a founder member of the Embassy Gallery and in 2005 won the Sir William Gillies Bequest Award and was chosen to exhibit in Bloomberg New Contemporaries. After graduating with a Masters from ECA in 2006, his graduate work was sold to Paisley Museum.

He has exhibited at the Collective, Camden Arts Centre, the Athens Biennale, Loughborough University, the Barbican and the Royal Society of Arts. He also writes and performs music as Randan Discotheque. He currently lives and works in Edinburgh.

The panel

All of the winning Artists taking the lead projects were selected by a panel of artists and producers. The Scotland panel commented:

'This work combines landscape, memory, sport, humanity and diversity together seamlessly. It is a project that sits well within the context of London 2012 as it provides an alternative setting for sport to gather together a diverse range of people together in a subtle and discrete way. We are proud that a young talent like Craig as been given the opportunity to be part of the world's largest event.'

Read the Artists taking the lead, Scotland panel biographies.

Visit the Artists taking the lead page to find out about the other projects taking place across the UK.