Image credit: Paul Box

Luke Jerram’s “Withdrawn” to set sail to Leigh Woods

Renowned artist Luke Jerram and the National Trust in partnership with the Forestry Commission, England invite audiences to experience an immersive arts installation and events programme in Leigh Woods starting on 18 April until 6 September, 2015.

The range of events and activities planned around Withdrawn is terrific and there are lots of opportunities for people to come along and get involved in the debate or just reflect on the haunting installation

“Withdrawn” is a project that will see five fishing boats installed amongst the picturesque backdrop of Leigh Woods in Bristol will ask audiences to consider the impacts of over-fishing and marine pollution on the future of our planet and eco-system. A series of talks, theatre performances, interactive arts and concerts are planned to take place on the boats throughout their tenure in the woodlands. Watch a special behind-the-scenes feature on the story of Withdrawn.

Ruth Gooding, Programme Manager of the National Trust’s Trust New Art Bristol explains;
“Leigh Woods is a remarkable woodland and we have worked closely with specialists and our partners Forestry Commission England to ensure the project will cause minimal disturbance.. We hope the events programme will bring the woodland to life and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds”. 

The events will kick off with concerts from Bristol Youth Choir on 25th April, performing songs inspired by a sea theme with shanties and sing-along tunes for the audience. Cyclists will be invited to a two-wheeled drive-in movie night on 3rd or 4th June, while families will be invited to cycle with Sustrans to the boats for a picnic and nautical themed storytelling on Saturday 1st August. 

Withdrawn will be a dramatic backdrop for a week of performances of The Tempest, a show staged by the Butterfly Theatre as part of Bristol Shakespeare Festival. This promenade performance will take place from 11th – 17th July with two shows per evening and a matinee at the weekend. 

Mayfest will host a series of Nightwalks with Tom Bailey through the woods, discovering sounds exploring the history of the forest and visiting the moonlit boats in the dark. The project will also be part of Bristol Walking Festival with The Wonders of Leigh Woods Walk, while The Cabot Institute will host a series of talks about the fishing industry and climate change, accompanied by delicious fish suppers cooked by local Michelin Starred Chef Josh Eggleton. 

Withdrawn is funded by Arts Council England as part of the Bristol 2015 European Green Capital programme. 

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said;
“The range of events and activities planned around Withdrawn is terrific and there are lots of opportunities for people to come along and get involved in the debate or just reflect on the haunting installation.  Our support for Bristol 2015 means that great art and culture are right at the heart of the programme for European Green Capital, giving us all a new way to think about the issues.”

Contemporary art continues at Tyntesfield a gothic Victorian country house near Bristol which the National Trust also cares for. Here artist Emma Smith is developing an interactive sculpture in response to the house’s vast collection of 50,000 objects.  This work will be on show at Tyntesfield in May.

How to get there

There is no car parking on site. We are asking visitors to walk, cycle or catch public transport to the site.

There will be cycle parking facilities available at both the National Trust and the Forestry Commission points of entry.

You can catch the bus to the woods from Bristol or Portishead on the x2 and x3. As a Bristol 2015 project we are encouraging people to utilise low emission modes of transport to visit the installation.    

Download visitor guide and map       

Withdrawn visitor guide.pdf Guide map.pdf  

For more information visit :  or or follow Trust New Art on Facebook or Twitter 



Leigh Woods

Event type

  • Art, Craft & Exhibitions

Event organiser

Bristol 2015, Arts Council, The Forestry Commission and The National Trust


See also

Withdrawn special feature: Take a voyage on Luke Jerram's "ghost boats"