Wye Valley River Festival has been working with Imagineer as part of their project Imagine Bamboo. Artists, designers, engineers and communities from across the UK, and internationally, are coming together to explore the potential of bamboo – widely held to be the future sustainable building material for the planet.

Why bamboo? As Imagineer explains:

Bamboo grows across the globe, including in the UK and Europe, and is widely held by a growing network of engineers, architects and activists to be ‘the future sustainable building material for the planet’ – we were excited by the potential to collaborate with people from across the world to exchange skills and ideas and create beautiful strong lightweight structures at a variety of scales.

During spring 2022, artists from the Wye Valley, Stoke-on-Trent and Liverpool City Region took part in creative labs to explore the properties and creative potential of bamboo. On behalf of WVRF, local designer-makers Becky Prior, Simon from Flaxland – UK Natural Fibres and Zoe Dunn worked alongside Orin Hardy, BambooU, Rebecca Reubens from Rhizome and artist Lou Jones to inspire and inform their explorations with bamboo.

In July 2022 we took part in the Imagine Bamboo Summit, a free outdoor festival in an award-winning Birmingham park, to explore what extraordinary structures, stories and circus performance we can build, make and imagine with UK-grown bamboo.

Inspired by the workshops, Becky Prior used bamboo as a material in this year’s schools projects in the Wye Valley, culminating in a bamboo sculpture in the grounds of the Bridges Centre in Monmouth as part of our 2022 festival. Read more about the schools project here.

Imagineer has lots of work with bamboo happening in 2023, including building an ambitious Bamboo Arch Swing at Keele Green Festival, Bamboo Circus R&D with NoFit State, an epic bamboo collaboration across Liverpool City Region and further strategic development with partners in industry, construction, government and universities. Wye Valley River Festival will be working with them, developing an exciting partnership for Festival 2024…

Imagine Bamboo is presented by Imagineer Productions and artistic director Orit Azaz, in collaboration with Atelier One, BambooU, Rhizome Design, Ghana Bamboo Bikes and Nofit State