An Amazing City Centre Forest Garden Installation Is Heading To Birmingham Next Year

Alice Lorenzato-Lloyd Alice Lorenzato-Lloyd - Staff Writer


A UK-wide programme designed to celebrate creativity and aimed to reach millions and bring people together is arriving in 2022, with one pop-up installation heading to Birmingham. Known as UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, the programme features free large-scale events, installations and globally accessible digital experiences produced by some of the brightest minds in science, technology, engineering, arts and maths.

UNBOXED, originally created to celebrate the UK’s departure from the EU, will feature ten major multi-site and digital creative projects that share new ideas and possibilities for the future. Events and activities are set to take place from 1 March to 2 October 2022 – from the Outer Hebrides to Dover and from Omagh to Swansea, and across traditional and online media.

Green Space Dark Skies installation

One project popping-up in the centre of Birmingham is a forest garden called PoliNations, produced by Trigger Collective and led by Bristol-based arts organisation Trigger, drawing on experts in the fields of horticulture, science, architecture and the arts. The “monumental pop-up” aims to celebrate the global origins of the UK’s plants and population through immersive installations, live music, talks and performances.

Starting with a single large tree structure in Edinburgh, PoliNations will ‘grow’ into an immersive forest in the centre of Birmingham filled with real and architectural trees as well as plants, grasses and flowers grown in collaboration with local communities. From daisies to horse chestnut trees and dahlias to the English rose, many of the plants that we consider to be part of the UK landscape originate overseas.

Credit: THISS, Carl Robertshaw, Bronia Housman

PoliNations – also part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival – is a celebration of diversity in the UK, exploring multiculturalism through the metaphor of the incredible biodiversity of our plant life and culminating in a party that brings together the spirit of the Notting Hill Carnival, Pride and Mela with the joyous anarchy of Songkran and Holi.

Angie Bual, Creative Director of PoliNations and Co-Director of Trigger Collective, said: “PoliNations celebrates the colour and vibrancy that plants and flowers have brought to the UK and invites us to reimagine our cities as greener and wilder places to be. Combining engineering, horticulture, theatre and music from around the world, PoliNations is a spectacular co-grown forest garden that will ignite the senses and deepen understanding of our shared history, bringing people together from all walks of life with an utterly unforgettable finale.”

To discover the full UNBOXED programme, head to the website here.

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