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.

WVRF has been working with Imagineer and partners across the globe throughout the last few months.

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.

We are planning more bamboo projects in the future, so watch this space to find out more. In the mean time, did you know that 18 September 2022 is World Bamboo Day? Imagineer will be celebrating bamboo throughout the weekend. Make sure you are following the Imagine Bamboo project here.

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.