Return to Nature is an exciting new environmental arts festival taking place in Holders Lane Woods, Birmingham on 14th September 2019. Funded by Arts Council England, the event will include immersive installations, performance art, live music and inspirational talks, along with a range of nature focused arts and well-being workshops.

Combining the brilliance of artists and forward thinkers from across the city and wider, our aim is to motivate people to protect the planet, through encouraging pro-environmental behaviour. We are striving to unite different communities of all ages to explore, learn, engage and discover, to come together to provide a sense of place and create positive change.

The festival will increase understanding and knowledge of environmental issues through improving awareness and aiding community development. It will provide a platform to reinforce values and beliefs and to help build a culture that is environmentally sustainable.

The Forward! Arts team are looking for artists of all disciplines, to create artworks for the event. We are particularly interested in those that use the natural world as their inspiration or natural materials as part of their resources. The commissioned pieces might comprise of an installation, a journey involving structure, visual design, architecture, sound instillation, performance or a combination of these disciplines. Artworks should be focused around environmental themes such as climate change, plastic pollution, biodiversity, deforestation and food sustainability.

For installation pieces, which will form an art trail through the woodland, we are keen for artists to incorporate natural and upcycled materials, which are able to withstand the outdoors and are structurally sound. Installations can be free standing or can be built around/from the trees. It is anticipated that most of the artwork will remain in situ in the woodland following the event.


The team will be on site for the two days running up to the event (12th – 13th September), to support the installation of artwork. For site-specific pieces a member of the team will meet with artists to find a suitable location within the event footprint, during the planning process.

We are also keen to hear from artists who might want to create ‘live art’ on the day of the event, and those who would be interested in giving a short talk about their pieces.

All artists must have appropriate insurances in place and may have to complete a risk assessment, depending on the structure of the artwork.

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Return to Nature

Artist Call Out


Each artist/group will be provided with an all-inclusive, maximum fee of £400, to include materials, travel and expenses.

An additional £50 fee will be provided for those who are able to give a talk about their artwork and its connections to the environment, as part of the event.

How to apply

Please email the team with an outline of your proposed artwork, and if relevant, what materials you will use along with a rough sketch to help illustrate your ideas.


Please also send us link to your website and/or social media platforms, and up to five photos demonstrating some of your previous work.

E-mail us at:

Deadline for submissions is Friday 12th July.