Bath Assembly Rooms to host Forest of Imagination 2023
Contemporary arts event marks 10th Anniversary in historic National Trust venue
Bath’s award-winning, free-to-attend contemporary arts event, Forest of Imagination, is back once again this summer – inviting adults and schoolchildren to “Assemble in the Forest” and connect with nature in a host of imaginative ways. Bath’s world-famous Assembly Rooms will be the venue for Forest of Imagination 2023, which runs from 14 June to 14 July 2023.
Image credit: Morag Myerscough
Spaces inside and outside the Assembly Rooms will be transformed into a series of playful, nature-inspired art experiences, offering visitors the chance to immerse themselves in multi-sensory installations, soundscapes and sculptures; join artists' workshops; and explore a whole host of creative and community projects from top local and international artists, designers and businesses.
Amongst some of the many highlights of this year’s event are:
Bird Song - A colourful, freestanding welcome pavilion designed by Morag Myerscough, combining placards and activist messages with solar panels, weather vanes and scented planting in a free standing bamboo structure.
Wondering Ways – a transformation of the historic Ballroom into a living space of meandering paths through tall feathery grasses, designed by Andrew and Nathan Amondson with Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Beaver Den – a recreation of a beaver lodge beneath the chandelier in the Grand Octagon room by Grant Associates, telling the story of beavers recently being discovered living wild along the River Avon near Bath
Tree Room – a reimagination of the Tea Room showcasing the work of Bathscape, National Trust and Rainforest Concern in protecting nature, trees and forests
Community Forest Shelter – an innovative timber structure for outdoor workshops designed by Invisible Studio and Charley Brentnall
Soundscape – an evocative installation called “It’s Always Ourselves we Find in the Sea” created by Martyn Ware (of Heaven 17 fame), Gabriel Ware, Oscar Blustin and Anna Söderblom
Documentation Room & Extraordinary Forest – interactive workshops and exhibitions of sculptures by schoolchildren masterminded by House of Imagination
Bath Community Kitchen Forest - a creative, participant led community cookery space
This is the 10th Anniversary of Forest of Imagination – an event masterminded by Grant Associates, House of Imagination, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Bath Spa University working alongside the creative, cultural and educational community of Bath. Each year a familiar space in Bath is re-imagined to highlight the importance of nature and imagination in all of our lives.
Over the last 10 years, more than 60,000 visitors have attended and over 100,000 interacted with the contemporary arts event online. Every year around 20 local schools, 5 partner universities and 50 artists and creative professionals help grow new branches of the unique event.
For 2023, the National Trust invited Forest of Imagination to the Bath Assembly Rooms while the charity uncovers the history of the building, tests and finalises plans for the future and undertakes building work ahead of opening a Georgian experience in 2026. The theme ‘Assemble in the Forest’ is inspired by the opportunity to link art, nature, and the social life of the city into an experience that takes full advantage of the grand internal rooms and the distinctive outdoor spaces.
“For the past ten years, Forest of Imagination has been a truly collaborative event which gives it a unique creative energy – and that very much continues to be the case in 2023. At a period of great transition and change for our world, this is a time to collectively and creatively come together to imagine how things can be different in the future.”
“All around the world people use forests as places to find respite, either individually or together. ‘Assemble in the Forest’ is an open invitation to come together and celebrate the beauty and biodiversity of Bath and once again to showcase the imagination of our community. In addition, it will provide an opportunity to shine a light on the importance of forests across the world and what they mean to us in Bath.”
Forest of Imagination is a partnership between Grant Associates, House of Imagination, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Bath Spa University, working alongside the creative, cultural and educational community of Bath.
To find out more about all the evolving programme for Forest of Imagination 2023 and opening times, visit: www.forestofimagination.com
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About Grant Associates
Grant Associates is a pioneering international landscape architecture practice. Our work reconnects people with nature in insightful, delightful and distinctive ways whilst addressing the global challenges of urbanisation, the climate crisis and biodiversity extinction.
Our design process is underpinned by a knowledge of human behaviour, nature and ecological science combined with innovative design technology. We bring original thinking, creative collaboration and are exploring what regenerative design and the circular economy means to landscape architecture.
Our varied portfolio includes ambitious large-scale, landmark projects through to small, local ventures.