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.
The first Forest of Imagination event took place in 2014 at the Bath Spa University Sion Hill Campus. Working alongside a number of designers, artists and local schools, the grounds of the Sion Hill campus became a hidden delight. The installation worked with the existing fabric of mature trees, glades, grassy slopes and secret pathways to create a trail of experiences orbiting a magical Forest glade.
In 2015 we turned Queen Square into a mini ‘Universe of Play’, with four distinctly different worlds and an atmosphere of fun. Over 6,000 visitors enjoyed chances to meet Dreamer, a 7.5 metre tall giant rabbit, play in a bamboo installation, make a forest book, assemble a giant monster from recycled materials, become Lost Explorers to discover the flora and fauna of the Forest with the House of Fairy tales and enjoy a series of talks on play and imagination.
In 2016 over 10,000 visitors saw the 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. 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.