Posted on: 24th June 2019

The Forest of Imagination is all about connecting people to nature.  Now in its sixth year, the event comprises a programme of artworks, outdoor theatre, sensory installations and creative activities where visitors can participate over the four-day event.

Carpenter Oak’s involvement began last year during the 2018 Studio in the Woods, an education and research programme run by Piers Taylor of The Invisible Studio and Charley Brentnall, Carpenter Oak founder.  Their team at the event first conceived the early Forest of Imagination prototypes.

The brief from the organisers was to make an entrance and marker sign for this year’s festival, hosted by the Holburne Museum in Bath.  The theme for this year is ‘Life Line’ and the structure sits on the axis of a grand classical street, in front of the impressive Holburne Museum.

The concept of the piece is to deconstruct and reconstruct a tree, and effectively turn it inside out.  As visitors arrive at the festival, the structure will present a curious new perspective on the make-up of a tree and how it is used in construction.

Most of the timber used in the project has been reclaimed and remilled from our Wiltshire Yard.  Occasionally, a particular section of the oak that comes to us isn’t suitable for structural framing, due to natural variances in the timber and our rigorous timber grading process.  Rather than turn this stock into firewood, we store it for projects such as these where innovation and creativity are the driving factors behind experimental and unusual builds.

The project is a collaboration between Carpenter Oak, Invisible Studio, Charley’s new venture Xylotek and Momentum Engineering.  The design and build of the structure is on a cost basis to support the work of the festival.

Photography: Colin Hawkins, courtesy of Carpenter Oak, Xylotek, Momentum and Invisible Studio.