Forest of imagination
Forest of Imagination is an annual pop-up participatory contemporary arts event in Bath co-designed by Grant Associates and House of Imagination over the last 6 years in Bath, with anaverage of 10,000 participants each year, including 20 schools and 55 organisations in the city. Key collaborators include Bath Spa University, The Big Draw, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and the Holburne Museum. Forest of Imagination reimagines familiar spaces, inspiring creativity and heightening awareness of nature in an urban context. Climate and environmental awareness are a key focus for the integrated creative learning programme, inspired by nature and working alongside leading local organisations at the heart of innovative environmental practice.
Visit forestofimagination.org.uk to discover more.
2019 – Life | Line
Forest of Imagination 2019 transformed the grounds of Holburne Museum and Sydney Gardens with artistic and architectural installations, connecting these outdoor landscapes with creative activities, including workshops, evening talks and performances. Every year Forest of Imagination develops new ways of working creatively together, in a spirit of ambitious co-operation and artistic co-production. This year’s event was a confident act of creative placemaking that drew on local skills, inspiration and ingenuity and engaged a wide public audience.
2018 – Future Forest
The September 2018 event ‘Future Forest’ transformed Kingsmead Square, the Avon Street corridor and Riverside Park on the River Avon using four ‘Forest fragments’ – Forest Canopy, Forest Floor, Regeneration Forest and Floating Forest – and highlighted the importance of including nature and art in Bath’s regeneration project by the river. Artistic, immersive interventions re-imagined these areas showing how creativity can help deliver social, environmental regeneration by testing how public space is used and engaging the local community.
2017 – ‘Forest on the Edge…where we feel at home.’
The 2017 Forest of Imagination took place within the Edge Arts building at the University of Bath, and the adjacent Bushey Norwood, a National Trust Meadow. The aim of the Forest was to create an engaging and thought provoking series of experiences for all ages but with an emphasis on children and their connection with the natural environment. The project aimed to reinforce a renewed interest in the countryside around the city through the Bath scape project, highlighting the importance of engaging people, especially children, with the experience of nature and outdoor play.
Our vision for the third Forest of Imagination was to highlight the relationship of Bath to the local and global environment. “Shining a light on the importance of global forests, and the capacity of Bath as a creative ecosystem” Andrew Grant RDI. This allowed us to create this ‘pop up’ event combining contemporary, multi-disciplinary installations with a kaleidoscope of events and activities: right in the heart of the city of Bath, focused around the Abbey.
The Forest of Imagination took over Queen Square, in the centre of the city of Bath, for four days from 15 – 18 May 2015. Andrew Grant created the overall design scheme for the Forest, using the existing layout of the Square to create four different worlds. The square was transformed into an outdoor interactive gallery for contemporary creativity by a team of collaborators from Grant Associates, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Herman Miller, artists, Bath Spa University, 5x5x5=creativity and Imaginnovation.
Forest of Imagination took place between 11th July and 14th July 2014 at the Bath School of Art and Design, Sion Hill. The 4-day event was free to attend and open to all ages. Having received tremendous support following the initial RSA Kickstarter film for ‘Artspace Bath’, we invited the city and its visitors to engage in a dialogue about the power of imagination and creativity and to experience the contemporary arts through participation and interaction.
Andrew Grant, Director of Grant Associates, the landscape architects responsible for the design of Forest of Imagination, said: ‘The idea behind this project was to capture the invisible creative spirit of Bath and stimulate people’s imagination through a rich variety of contemporary artforms.’