London 2012

About The Project

Art and Sport come together for a remarkable event.

On 25th August 2012, two amateur football matches took place in a Scottish forest, as part of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival. Forest Pitch by Craig Coulthard is a celebration of art and sport that revives the original spirit of the modern Olympics.


The teams – two male and two female – played on a specially created full size football pitch hidden deep within a forest in the Scottish Borders.

Uniquely, the teams were mostly made up of recent British citizens or those with Leave to Remain living in Scotland.

Watched by around 500 spectators and followed on line via a live internet broadcast, the players wore colourful team strips designed by Scottish school children.

Forest Pitch screenprint by Craig Coulthard

Forest Pitch, Print by Craig Coulhard

Spruce trees felled to make space for the pitch were used to create the goalposts, benches and a changing room.

In the autumn, the pitch will be planted with native trees along the white lines of the pitch, creating an evolving, living sculpture which holds memories of this remarkable event. The site will be freely accessible to the public for up to 60 years.

One of the official themes of the Cultural Olympiad is to ‘welcome the world’. By celebrating the diversity of Scottish communities, Forest Pitch  brings together people of all backgrounds, religions and languages, through the project.

Craig was initially inspired to create Forest Pitch by his own childhood experiences of playing football in the middle of a forest. This art project invites us to explore our views on landscape, memory, community, national identity and what it means to be British.

Craig Coulthard on site

Craig Coulthard on site

Forest Pitch is an Artists taking the lead commission supported by Creative Scotland in partnership with the Arts Council of England.

what people are saying

“Craig Coulthard’s proposition has a simple resonance for me, in contrast to the enormous logistical and infrastructural event that a modern Olympics inevitably becomes, a clearing in a forest in which a game of football is played out by amateurs is both appealing and provocative.”

Neil Gillespie, Artists taking the lead Judging Panel Member & Architect, Reiach & Hall Architects

“Forest Pitch is a unique football project and one that will resonate for supporters who have confronted the fear that their club or stadium might disappear into history. It’s a project set in the country but which speaks to the city.”

Stuart Cosgrove, Broadcaster