Bath Landscape architects Grant Associates have designed a ‘Forest of Imagination’ to transform one of the city’s historic public spaces into a temporary fantastical landscape and outdoor gallery for a free-to-enter contemporary arts event this week-end.
It will be open from 10am to 6pm today (Saturday, May 16th) through to Monday.
It has transformed Queen Square into a magical forest to showcase Bath’s often hidden creativity and will include a garden and an outdoor gallery – ‘a gallery without walls’ with a series of artworks and temporary architectural structures.
The Forest of Imagination design includes:
The Forest enclosure featuring mixed forest saplings, understorey grasses and a willow tunnel running across the middle. Playing with space the mini forest will be made giant by the tiny world created within it of small creatures, dwellings and birds with an art installation by artist Edwina Bridgeman.
The Bamboo enclosure, designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, is a 14.4m x 12 m space screened with vertical bamboo canes. Musical devices are attached to the poles for interaction with the visitors. Performances and activities will take place at the centre of the enclosure.
A gigantic magic white rabbit 6.5 meters in height will be inflated and pop up in different locations in the Forest throughout the four-day event.
Andrew Grant, Director, Grant Associates, said: “The Forest of Imagination reinvents Queen Square as an artistic, playful world where the creative spirit of the city has fun with this familiar Georgian landscape. It’s a wake up call to let everyone know Bath did not stop evolving 200 years ago.”
Penny Hay, Director, 5x5x5=creativity and Senior Lecturer at Bath Spa University, said: “We believe, and research shows, that creativity and imagination can enhance wellbeing and transform lives.
Bath-based creative partners involved in creating the magical experience include children’s charity 5x5x5=creativity, award-winning architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, design studio Ideas of the Mind, Herman Miller Cares, Bath Illuminate, Carpenter Oak, Bath Spa University and The House of Fairy Tales.
Artists and designers already signed up to the event include Edwina Bridgeman, Jono Burgess, Jessica Palmer, John East, and students from Bath Spa University.
The House of Imagination runs alongside offering a creative learning programme of workshops giving children and adults the opportunity to be immersed in creative enquiry alongside professional contemporary artists, designers and architects.
This is the second year that Forest of Imagination has been staged in Bath, after a successful debut in the grounds of Bath School of Art and Design, Bath Spa University on Sion Hill in July 2014.
The Virtual Museum met Andrew Grant from Grant Associates in Queen Square and asked what was the thinking behind the event.
For more information visit www.forestofimagination.com.
Here’s some information on the partners involved:
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
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
Illuminate Bath is free, inclusive and accessible to all with over 30,000+ visitors. The projections and installations throughout the city are an inspiration to photographers and filmmakers alike. www.illuminatebath.org
Ideas of the Mind
Ideas of the Mind is a graphic design, branding and web design agency based in Bath. www.ideasofthemind.com
The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) is an enlightenment organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges. Through its ideas, research and 27,000-strong Fellowshipit seeks to understand and enhance human capability to close the gap between today’s reality and people’s hopes for a better world. www.thersa.org
Bath Spa University
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