Lucy Skaer 'Forest on Fire'

The London Mithraeum, Bloomberg SPACE showcases contemporary art that is informed by the history of a unique site that incorporates a mid-3rd century Roman temple dedicated to the god Mithras,  7 metres below today’s ground level.


The installation Forest on Fire was developed by contemporary artist Lucy Skaer, inspired by the image of the Tauroctony, the iconic centrepiece of Roman Mithraic mysteries.   

The exhibition ran 4th November 2020 - 15th May 2021.
The Brief
Bloomberg Philanthropies approached NextShoot to make a film about Forest on Fire that could be hosted on the London Mithraeum, Bloomberg SPACE website.   

The goal was to give context to the artist’s inspirations and intentions for those intending to visit the exhibition and for the many who, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, could not attend in person.  

The commissioners were keen to include footage of the fabrication process as well as the finished work in situ.  

A part of the brief was to ensure that the video was artistic rather than corporate in nature.
Lucy Skaer 'Forest on Fire' Lucy Skaer 'Forest on Fire'
Lucy Skaer 'Forest on Fire' Lucy Skaer 'Forest on Fire'
Our Approach
Our DoP travelled to Edinburgh with a stripped-down kit to capture shots of Lucy in the foundry where the metalwork for her piece was poured. In order to capture a variety of sequences, aside from the metalwork, he also filmed Lucy with some of the felts and sketches that were the inspiration for key parts of her design.  

A few months later, back in London, our DoP filmed the installation process over the course of a day. With the work in place, we interviewed Lucy. We also captured sequences of her in the Mithraeum, looking at the work and exploring the cabinet of artefacts found during the archaeological dig that influenced the thinking behind her piece.  

The creation of a clear narrative that could be explained in a matter of minutes required careful editing. We knew, however, that the interview content could be finely cut due to volume and quality of the supporting b-roll, which was designed to neatly dovetail with all the editorial points made by Lucy.   

Aware that music and a lack of natural sound can make a video feel corporate in nature, we layered the final cut with a sound bed, including effects of a forest burning, and a slightly left-field music track that hinted at wild and mythical ancestry.
The Results
The final video captures the inspirations that shaped Lucy ‘s thinking and gives the viewer a sense of the fabrication process involved in bringing the work to physical fruition.   

Importantly, given the video would act as a tour to those who could not attend the show in person, it also clearly shows the key features of her exhibition: the series of bronze-cast animal pelts and abstract, carved stone animal heads, supported by stone basins, all contained within a cast bronze boundary.  

The b-roll is illustrative of the points made by Lucy, but creative in its approach and filmic in its execution Small details in the post-production, including the track-lying and musical choice, ensure the final edit has an artistic sentiment.   

NextShoot, is a video production company in London, but with global clients and the go-to video production company for the Arts sector.  We work with contemporary artists that have included Christo, Olafur Eliasson, Michael Craig-Martin, Ron Arad and Sonia Boyce, as well as offer video production services to museums and galleries like the National Gallery, the Whitechapel Gallery, the Serpentine Galleries, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, the South London Gallery and the Prado.   

For more information on the London Mithraeum, Bloomberg Space visit the website 

For more information on Lucy Skaer visit her website 
Lucy Skaer 'Forest on Fire' Lucy Skaer 'Forest on Fire'


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