Forest of Imagination takes root in Bath for third year

World heritage city to host pop-up contemporary arts event with conservation theme

04 MAY 2016, BATH, UK
Summary
Forest of Imagination. 3-6 June 2016. Bath. Come and immerse yourself in a playful programme of sensory installations, artworks, outdoor theatre and participatory creative activities at this 4 day contemporary arts event. Suitable for all ages. Free.

Spaces around Bath Abbey are to be transformed into a temporary fantastical forest and outdoor gallery by a collective of local artists and creative businesses during a free, four-day contemporary arts event on 3-6 June 2016.

Featuring a playful programme of sensory installations, artworks, outdoor theatre and participatory creative activities for visitors of all ages, Forest of Imagination is returning to the World Heritage City for its third year this summer.

2016’s event is focused around three areas close to the Abbey and is themed around ‘Eyes of the Forest’. It aims to suggest interesting and imaginative ways of seeing forests and their importance to global ecosystems.

To the front of the abbey, the Global Forest will point to the global importance of forests and encourage the imagination to travel to the forests of Madagascar, which will be brought to Bath in the form of giant inflatable Baobab trees. Representatives from Bristol Zoo will be on hand to talk about the island’s endangered wildlife.

Focused on Abbey Green’s mature Plane tree, the Living Forest will use a soundscape and lightweight sculpture to highlight the role of nature in the city.

In a large square off Kingston Parade, the Creative Forest offers an outdoor workshop where the Forest of Imagination will grow over the four-day event and involve a creative installation of 1,000 living and made trees.

Forest of Imagination is the brainchild of a collaborative team of Bath-based businesses, including landscape architects Grant Associates, arts-based charity 5x5x5=creativity, creative consultancy Imaginnovation and architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios. It aims to highlight the inherent creativity of Bath and connect people with nature by reinventing spaces in the city to inspire intuitive play, unleash imagination and encourage exploration.

Herman Miller Cares is once again headline sponsor of the event. Other key event collaborators for the 2016 event will include Bath Abbey, Bath Spa University, Bristol Zoo, RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts), children’s play charity The House of Fairy Tales and local schools. Artists, designers and makers already signed up to the event include Martyn Ware, Edwina Bridgeman, Jessica Palmer, Anthony Head, Clare Day, Jono Burgess, Alison Harper, James Aldridge and students from the Bath School of Art and Design.

Forest of Imagination made a successful debut in the grounds of Bath School of Art and Design in July 2014. Last year’s event was based in Queen’s Square and welcomed over 7,000 visitors.

Andrew Grant, Director, Grant Associates, said: “2016’s Forest of Imagination aims to transform central spaces in Bath into temporary forests that inspire the imagination, and highlight the interconnectivity of forests and cities across the globe. The ‘Eyes of the Forest’ theme emphasises seeing and experiencing these familiar environments from unusual perspectives to inform and engage visitors in their messages of conservation and creativity.”

Penny Hay, Director, 5x5x5=creativity and Senior Lecturer at Bath Spa University, said: “Creativity and imagination can enhance wellbeing and transform lives. Forest of Imagination offers an immersive experience that is inspired by nature and encourages adults and children to enjoy their own imagination and creativity. The event is a showcase for Bath as a hotbed of innovation and artistic exploration.”

For more information visit www.forestofimagination.com

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

Forest of Imagination

Forest of Imagination is a four-day participatory, contemporary arts event and creative learning programme for all ages. From Friday 3 June – Monday 6 June 2016 the spaces around Bath Abbey will be radically transformed into an innovative and inspiring place for contemporary creativity and intuitive play, providing an immersive experience for all. www.forestofimagination.com

About the key partners behind Forest of Imagination

5x5x5=creativity

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

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

Imaginnovation

Imaginnovation is a creative company with a clue in the name. The company celebrates imagination and innovation, linking inspiring concepts to real-world behaviour change. www.waynelindsay.com

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

Quotes
"“2016’s Forest of Imagination aims to transform central spaces in Bath into temporary forests that inspire the imagination, and highlight the interconnectivity of forests and cities across the globe. The ‘Eye of the Forest’ theme emphasises seeing and experiencing these familiar environments from unusual perspectives to inform and engage visitors in their messages of conservation and creativity.”" Andrew Grant, Director, Grant Associates:
"“Creativity and imagination can enhance wellbeing and transform lives. Forest of Imagination offers an immersive experience that is inspired by nature and encourages adults and children to enjoy their own imagination and creativity. The event is a showcase for Bath as a hotbed of innovation and artistic exploration.”" Penny Hay, Director, 5x5x5=creativity and Senior Lecturer at Bath Spa University:
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About Forest of Imagination

Forest of Imagination is a four-day participatory, contemporary arts event and creative learning programme for all ages. From Friday 3 June – Monday 6 June 2016 the spaces around Bath Abbey will be radically transformed into an innovative and inspiring place for contemporary creativity and intuitive play, providing an immersive experience for all.

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