City-based arts pop-up Forest of Imagination is to take place in Bath again from 28 -30 September 2018, connecting people to nature with a series of fantastical forests, art trails and innovative sculptures.
Returning to the city for its fifth consecutive year, this year’s free event will see spaces in Kingsmead Square, down Avon Street to the River Avon at Bath Quays North, all transformed into a series of ‘Future Forests’ designed to spark people’s imaginations.
Each Forest will offer a sensory kaleidoscope of playful installations, art trails and workshops, exploring different aspects of forest life - from the forest floor to the forest canopy.
This year’s event is also being launched in partnership with Bath Children’s Literature Festival (28 September – 7 October 2018), one of the city’s most popular annual events.
Amongst a host of creative installations by artists, schools and local businesses, highlights for this year’s Forest of Imagination event will include:
· A ‘Courtyard of Creativity’, designed by architect Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios featuring architectural street furniture, providing a venue for eating, learning and creating.
· Interactive street theatre from children’s art charity The House of Fairy Tales
· A 3D forest soundscape created by Illustrious, led by Heaven 17’s Martyn Ware
· Forest pyramids built by Carpenter Oak & Woodland with architect Piers Taylor
· An inflatable forest by landscape architects Grant Associates
· Installations and workshops by local artists and designers including Alison Harper, Jessica Palmer and Matthew Leece
· An immersive installation in collaboration with Shai Akram and the egg theatre Incubator project
· Illustrations of the river ecology with Conor Busuttil and local schools
· A collaboration with Three Ways Special School involving artists Luke Woodbury, Matt Cleary and Juliann Worrall Hood
· Artworks on the River Avon by River is the Venue (RIV) – a collaboration between art gallery 44AD artspace, arts charity Art at the Heart of the Royal United Hospital (RUH) and the University of Bath, celebrating the history of Bath’s river
Forest of Imagination 2018 has been made possible thanks to generous funding from Arts Council England, Grant Associates and Herman Miller Cares, together with the support of a host of other local businesses and organisations including Bath Spa University, Bristol Zoo, Wessex Water and Bath BID.
A ‘home grown’ event, Forest of Imagination was co-founded by Bath based landscape architect Andrew Grant of Grant Associates, whose work on the iconic Gardens by the Bay featured in Planet Earth 2 - the BBC’s most watched natural history programme to date.
Grant Associates is part of a collective of local companies and creatives who co-design the event including arts charity 5x5x5=creativity, Bath Spa University and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios.
This year the project returns to the city centre and aims to celebrate the connection between the city and the River Avon through the transformation of Kingsmead Square, Avon Street and linked spaces. These will be animated with installations and creative possibilities, providing a thought-provoking series of experiences for all ages.Andrew Grant, Director, Grant Associates
Forest of Imagination 2018 will invite everyone to experience the power of nature in the city to inspire their imagination and creativity. Taking place alongside the Bath Children’s Literature Festival, we’ll also be celebrating the wonder of childhood and the importance of play for our wellbeing. We’ve the privilege once again of working with a host of wonderful artists including Martyn Ware, Shai Akram, Alison Harper, Jess Palmer and Matthew Leece, as well as local creative industries and staff and students from both the city’s universities and Bath College.Penny Hay, Co-founder of Forest of Imagination (Director of Research, 5x5x5=creativity and Senior Lecturer at Bath Spa University)
Forest of Imagination is a wonderful celebration of nature and creativity. We are really excited that it will be running at the same time as Bath Children's Literature Festival this year giving families even more reason to visit the city and celebrate creativity, art, stories and the power of imagination!Gill McLay, Artistic Director and Founder of Bath Children's Literature Festival
Bath Spa University is delighted to once again be providing major support for Forest of Imagination. This event is a wonderful example of creativity and partnership across the city, and the University is pleased to be playing its part, as one of the centres of creativity and enterprise in Bath and the wider West of England region.Professor Sue Rigby, Bath Spa University Vice Chancellor
Bath BID is delighted to support Forest of Imagination and this dynamic approach to activating public space. We're delighted to be part of this collaborative activity with the businesses of Kingsmead Square, Avon Street and Bath Quays, working to bring a weekend of imagination and inspiration.Allison Herbert, CEO at Bath BID
Forest of Imagination is a contemporary arts event transforming spaces in and around Bath each year into a magical forest to showcase the city’s often hidden creativity with a series of artworks and temporary architectural structures. 2018 sees the event brought back into central Bath in partnership with Bath Children’s Literature Festival. Meanwhile the House of Fairy Tales is bringing a playful programme of workshops and events. Forest of the Imagination is created in partnership with 5x5x5=creativity, Grant Associates, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, and Bath Spa University. www.forestofimagination.com
5x5x5=creativity, is an arts-based action research organisation with charitable status that supports children and young people in their exploration and expression of ideas, helping them develop creative skills for life. www.5x5x5creativity.org.uk
Grant Associates is a British Landscape Architecture consultancy specialising in creative, visionary design of both urban and rural environments worldwide, working with some of the world’s leading architects and designers. www.grant-associates.uk.com
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios is an award-winning practice with an international reputation for design quality, for pioneering environmental expertise and a radical architectural approach. www.fcbstudios.com
Three schools from Bath Spa University are collaborating for the Forest of Imagination - The School of Art and Design, Education, and Humanities and Cultural Industries. Recognised as one of the UK’s top creative universities in the Which? University Student Survey, Bath Spa University is a leading university for creativity, culture and enterprise, offering a wide range of creative degree courses across visual arts and design, heritage and publishing, and education. www.bathspa.ac.uk
- Tori Madine
- Nick Vellacott