The Forest of Imagination is a four-day contemporary arts event designed by Grant Associates in collaboration with creative local businesses and artists. Each year the event transforms part of Bath into an imagined, fantastical landscape.
The event is a place for art and participation; the reinvention of a familiar space to inspire intuitive play, imaginative thought and to heighten a sense of nature and the city environment.
In 2016 over 10,000 visitors explored the event in and around Bath Abbey.
Free to all, the pop-up event saw Bath Abbey and nearby Abbey Green and Kingston Parade transformed by a playful programme of sensory installations, artworks and participatory creative activities for visitors of all ages.
The attractions included sound installations composed by Martyn Ware, founder of Heaven 17 and Human League, as well as artworks by local artists. Exhibitions featured illustrations by Perry Harris in portals dotted around the site, and a swarm of giant, colourful paper butterflies created by Anthony Head, which appeared to flutter inside Bath Abbey.
With a strong focus on conservation, especially the plight of wildlife in Madagascar, the event featured giant inflatable Baobab trees outside the abbey, while Bristol Zoo presented talks, and led workshops for local school children, about its lemur conservation project in Madagascar and around the globe.
For the first time the event made use of Augmented Reality (AR) to offer an additional, virtual world for visitors to explore. Bath based technology firm Media Grand specially designed the ‘Forest Eyes’ app for 2016’s Forest of Imagination.