Eternal Forest Project

Eternal Forest Vision

The world where forests are appreciated as living beings for their beauty, deep connection, biodiversity and peace!

Today, old-growth forests are few; many people have never experienced the awe of being in the presence of a 1,000-year-old being. This vision makes this experience possible for those who come after us. It is an invitation to become part of history, by co-creating a new kind of ecological artwork – establishing an Eternal Forest Sanctuary for 1,000 years.

Eternal Forest Sanctuary, Bienal de Coruche, 2019

Eternal Forest multidisciplinary art project by Evgenia Emets and Eternal Forest Global Team explores the human relationship with forests, biodiversity, time and the sacred. Looking at a timeline beyond human life – a hundred, a thousand, 10,000 years, how can art be created at this timescale? 

Eternal Forest is the vision to create 1000 Eternal Forest Sanctuaries across the World and to protect them for 1000 years. Each sanctuary – a gift of ancient trees and biodiversity to future generations. An expression of hope, love and care for those who will come after us.

Let us be remembered as the generations which created 1000 forest sanctuaries, changing humanity’s relationship to nature forever!

It is an invitation to become part of history, by co-creating a new kind of ecological artwork – establishing an Eternal Forest Sanctuary for 1,000 years anywhere on Planet Earth.

Eternal Forest Sanctuary art experience, Bienal de Coruche, 2019

Eternal Forest Sanctuary is a sacred space, the intersection of art, nature protection, and community working together with a long term mindset. Eternal Forest offers us a deeper connection with nature. Creating an Eternal Forest Sanctuary contributes to improving the biosphere in our region, making long-lasting an impact for the generations ahead.  

Eternal Forest Sanctuary is a forest designed as art in collaboration with nature to boost biodiversity. Eternal Forest is created, supported and protected by the local community. The local community is the Guardian of it’s Eternal Forest Sanctuary. Each Sanctuary is to encourage quiet and contemplative activities: various ‘forest’ practices, such as children’s play and forest school, forest bathing, meditation, mindful walks, ecopsychology, deep ecology, plant spirit medicine, community gatherings and celebrations of nature’s cycles, inspiration and art, while helping the forest to grow.

Eternal Forest Sanctuary invites us to think, dream and imagine together what a place could be in 1,000 years, growing a deep forest, to experience a deeper sense of time. Eternal Forest will require our protection. 1000 years is many human generations – forest time is different from ours. Therefore, this is an offering, a gift of an old-growth biodiverse forest to future generations. 


We live in a critical time when the level of destruction of wildlife has made us witness degradation and collapse of ecosystems around the globe due to the loss of biodiversity. 

Allowing biodiversity to thrive will support our survival and thriving as human species. 

Being aware of the deep impact of nature’s beauty and biodiversity on our senses, we want to create natural forest spaces, through art and creativity, which could positively contribute to local biodiversity while supporting our health and wellbeing, the spaces for us to recover and restore, to open our senses and connect our life with that of the forest. 

With our lifestyles and culture, we feel disconnected from nature, other non-human beings, and from our communities. Eternal Forest creates a space and time, which helps us reconnect with our inner, quiet centres in a fast-changing and tumultuous world. Reconnecting helps us to find our purpose as individuals and our role as humanity.   

We live in an interconnected and interdependent world. At the moment we are experiencing the fragility of the ecosystem which inevitably reflects on our society. What if our generations had a role in restoring the balance and bringing harmony to our planet, our home?


Eternal Forest proposes to establish an area of forest as an artwork and a sanctuary to benefit both humans and nature. We believe that art and artists can play a leading role in inspiring people to feel our belonging to nature, understand the intangible value of the forest, open a deeper perspective on the forest ecosystem and join people together to co-create with nature. 

We will listen and observe the land to see what her dream is, what she needs to flourish. The forests have evolved over millions of years and we must acknowledge the intelligence that every land holds. The invitation is to spend a full cycle of one year experiencing the land through vision quest, contemplation, organised circles with community and specialists, to then be able to support the regenerative process. 

Every Eternal Forest Sanctuary will be a protected space with the purpose of establishing a forest ecosystem rather than harvesting its resources. Every sanctuary will be protected by a legal framework to ensure its purpose as a non-productive land, that serves the ecosystem itself and regeneration of the biodiverse forest. 

The design and creation of Eternal Forest is proposed as an on-going multidisciplinary collaborative work between artists, scientists, forest experts, ecosystem restoration and reforestation specialists, in co-creation with nature – to help understand the cycles of nature, the effect of climate change on the forest ecosystem and biodiversity.

Community plays a key role in being the guardians of the forest, creating a legacy for the coming generations through an emerging culture of living in harmony with nature. We believe that if this culture is established, Eternal Forests will last for 1000 years and more. 

Blueprint and the Future

To be able to create 1000 sanctuaries we feel it is crucial to create a clear and replicable blueprint and share it throughout the world. 

This will be our focus for the next 3 years, based on the following locations in Portugal: Ericeira community, HabitaRegen co-housing community in Abrigada, Idanha a Nova, Guarda, Mertola, Lousada, Coa Valley and Rewilding Portugal, Herdade do Freixo do Meio (TBC). 

The blueprint includes building partner network, consultancy and implementation team, working with local communities, scientific monitoring, artistic residencies, documentation of activities and public-facing events. 

We believe that every Eternal Forest Sanctuary must have a Circle of Guardians which will apply and contribute to the evolution of the blueprint. The Circle of Guardians is formed from the local community –  a group of people who are dedicated to holding the vision and the space for creating an Eternal Forest Sanctuary. 

Through the experience of creating a sanctuary, the Circle of Guardians will collect, document and share knowledge. 

Background of Eternal Forest Art project

There are two distinct cycles in Eternal Forest project: project completed in 2018 and in 2019. These artworks were developed in two art residencies, in Gois – Raizvanguarda (2018) and Coruche – Bienal de Coruche (2019) as part of ongoing artistic research on the intersection of art and ecology. 

  • Eternal Forest Manifesto  (2019)
  • Art film Eternal Forest Manifesto (10 min loop, 2019)  
  • Artist’s book Eternal Forest Manifesto (2019)
  • Visual works (2018) 
  • Artist’s book Eternal Forest (2018) 
  • Art film Eternal Forest (41 min, 2018) 

Eternal Forest Manifesto

Eternal Forest poetry Manifesto is at the center of Eternal Forest Sanctuary project. It is a 22 meters handwritten scroll, in English and Portuguese, it flows as an incantation. 

Eternal Forest poetry Manifesto accompanies every experience and every initiation of every Eternal Forest Sanctuary, as an oral tradition. Evgenia reads it during Eternal Forest experiences and collectively with communities during the initiation of the Sanctuaries. 

The Manifesto has been translated into Portuguese, where the first Sanctuary has been established (on 260-hectare land of Municipality of Coruche).  It will be also translated in any language when new Eternal Forest Sanctuaries emerge around the World.  

Eternal Forest Manifesto, scroll, fabric, ink, 22 m, Bienal de Coruche, 2019

Eternal Forest Manifesto art film

The following art film was made for the Bienal de Coruche and is filmed in the place of the future Eternal Forest Sanctuary at Herdade dos Concelhos, Coruche. 

Artist’s book Eternal Forest Manifesto

Eternal Forest Manifesto is a handmade book with poetry in 3 languages: English, Portuguese and Russian, and is part of the Eternal Forest Sanctuary project commissioned by the Bienal de Coruche in 2019. It contains printed poetry and handwritten calligraphic works, inspired by the poetry on the subject of forest time, the language of the forest, ecological thinking and cultural memory of nature. 

The artist’s book also contains a printed copy of the original Eternal Forest poetry Manifesto in English and Portuguese. The photographs of cork oak trees which have been debarked, with the numbers of years of the harvesting of cork written on them, are used to signify various chapters of the book. 

The book is part of a site-specific project and contains texts, an invitation to the community of Coruche, to enter the circle of guardians of Eternal Forest Sanctuary in Coruche – a sanctuary for biodiversity, humans and art at Herdade dos Concelhos. It also comes with Eternal Forest Sanctuary Map – the map of Eternal Forest Experience, the performance developed specifically as part of the design of Eternal Forest Sanctuary on this land. 

The book is hand made in two copies – one copy stays with the Museu Municipal de Coruche and another with the artist. 

Eternal Forest Manifesto artist’s book, wood, hand binding, 2 copies, handmade,  Bienal de Coruche, 2019

Eternal Forest visual works, 2018

A series of calligraphic works, based on poems in the Eternal Forest artist’s book, inspired by the conversations with the members of the community of the villages of Gois, Portugal. All the works are produced on paper from the abandoned paper factory in Gois, containing also watermarks from that factory. 

Although Eternal Forest project is not explicitly talking about water, on the very fundamental level water ‘runs’ through the project as a red line. The water from that stream was used for all the calligraphic drawings of the project. 

The technique I experimented with – both in the visual works and in the book, is creating lines with water of various thickness, with more or less water in them, and then writing directly on the wet paper with ink. Visual calligraphic poetry becomes semi- or completely abstract, transforming writing into painting, concrete language into abstract. 

Eternal Forest Map, 6 panels Each 68×82 cm (without frames), total dimension 250×140 cm (with frames), Ink, water on paper, 2018

I plant the word’, 4 panels each 68×82 cm, total dimension 170×140 cm with frames, Ink, water on paper

4 artworks from the series ‘Forest Codex’ Each 68×82 cmInk, water on paper, 2018

From the series ‘One word for the forest. Casa’ Each 68×82 cm Ink, water on paper, 2018

Each artwork represents one word: Casa, Amor, Verde, Equilibrio, Saudade, etc. 

Eternal Forest film, 2018

The ‘Eternal Forest’ art film created in 2018 rethinks and transforms a community’s relationship with it’s forests, through the voices of people living in Goís, Arganil and Lousã, the areas which suffered unprecedented fires in 2017. There is urgency to capture the voice of those who are rarely given opportunity to express their opinions directly without filters.

In the film, local people talk about their experience of the forest in their lives. They share stories of the aesthetic and spiritual, ecological and socio-economic effects of monoculture landscapes. They bemoan the absence of natural forests. Yet an unbroken connection with a ‘feeling’ of a forest appears. The poem ‘Sacred Tree’ – part of the cycle of Eternal Forest poetry also forms the visual and sonic narrative of this art film. 

Eternal Forest 2018 film has been shown in over 50 screenings in the UK and Portugal, including UCL, Portuguese Embassy, King’s College London, Evolving the Forest, Dartington, Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal, Cinemateca Portuguesa. 

Eternal Forest film, 2018, screenshot, 41 min, Gois, Portugal

Trailer of the film Eternal Forest:  

Full film:

Eternal Forest artist’s book

Ink, vintage paper, hand binding, 6 copies, handmade, 2018

Poetry written in English and Portuguese, typed on a machine without ink, a blind embossing seen only in special light conditions. The book is hand-sewn, it has an imaginary detachable ‘no-borders’ map of the ‘Eternal Forest’ and visual poetry calligraphy throughout the book. Made fully on paper from the abandoned paper factory in Gois. 

In the collection of the British Library and the Gulbenkian Art Library

Eternal Forest artist’s book and film presentation, King’s College Chapel, London, 2019

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