Included in group exhibitions 'Forest Dreaming' at the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World, Haldon Forest Park, near Exeter, Devon, 2006 and in 'Unravelling Photography' at Michael West Gallery, Quay Arts, Newport, Isle of Wight, 2006
This ongoing series of photographs is currently made in various locations in the south of England. Some pictures create a sense of a typically English rural environment, while others are more geographically ambiguous, throwing into question the relationship between actual location and the symbolic appearance of an imagined place that it might represent.
This work considers the forest as a subject of visual complexity. It poses questions about the photographic representation of environments simultaneously natural and humanly constructed. The forest is considered at once an interior and exterior, uncannily both strange and familiar, associated equally with sensations of fear and wonder.
The methodology of the production of the forest pictures references and comments upon early uses of perspective in renaissance art and modernist photographic realism. The photographs therefore propose a space situated between reality and illusion. This space is historically produced, but at the same time conceals its history, both absorbing and returning the gaze.
The series has been included in exhibitions at Pump House Gallery in London, The Museum for Contemporary Art in Roskilde, Denmark and Quay Arts, Newport, Isle of Wight. Most recently it was included in 'Forest Dreaming', a year long, evolving exhibition in nine parts at the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World in Haldon Forest Park, near Exeter, Devon between 2006 and 2007. The exhibition included works in photography, painting and the moving image. A photograph from 'Forests and Woodlands' was included in part five. The exhibition included work by over fifty artists responding in different ways to the forest environment. Other participating artists in part five were Andy Goldsworthy, Neeta Madahar, Nicola Maxwell, Laurie McGugan, Helen Sear and Christina Seely. The exhibition was curated by Clive Adams whose past projects include 'Love, Labour & Loss', a major exhibition of 300 years of British Livestock Farming in Art, held at Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery in Exeter in 2002 and 2003.
"Fergus Heron’s studies of place rely on subtle contrasts between photographs of one particular location. A ‘probable’ photograph would surely claim that a clear, simple representation of space was not only possible, but that it had in fact been achieved. Instead, the series complicates the space, or better the project of representing it, filling it up with odd questions about how the features are related to one another, and in turn to their representation in the other images: is one earlier or later? Is it in fact the same space? Is the space, finally, representable at all?"
(Dr Nancy Roth, ‘Improbable Pictures’ in Unravelling Photography, Exhibition Catalogue, Quay Arts Publishing, 2006)
"Fergus Heron’s …series, of woodlands… remark traditional spaces; places we dare to traverse, like babes in the wood, not knowing what will greet us once there. The pictures are classically constructed using a central viewing point from which to penetrate the trees in the middle distance. Undergrowth regeneration masks various histories of settlement, or economic activity. Clearings, cabins, bricks, stones and other fragments make limited sense without local historical knowledge. Was the area used for hunting? By highwaymen? Or are we enjoying erstwhile military sites? Imagination runs uncannily rife!"
(Liz Wells ‘Disentanglements’ in ‘Unravelling Photography’, Exhibition Catalogue, Quay Arts Publishing, 2006)
"…Fergus Heron’s image of a thick forest in Bracknell is reminiscent of scenes from the ‘Chronicles of Narnia’; dark, spooky and mischievous."
(Together Again, Various artists: Pump House Gallery, Battersea Park, 8 - 24 September, 2000)