If forests grew overnight, we could really make a huge difference in the fight against climate change. And whilst that, sadly, is impossible, this year’s London Design Biennale has actually appeared to make it happen. ‘Forest for Change‘ has set up 400 trees in the courtyard of Somerset House as part of this year’s festival, filling the iconic space with a temporary forest from June 1 – 27. [Featured image: Somerset House/Kevin Meredith]
The forest features 23 varieties of trees which are commonly found across the UK and Northern Europe, and bring together 400 towering trunks in a spectacular collision of art and nature. It’s the product of renowned artist (and this year’s Artistic Director of the Biennale) Es Devlin, who’s a firm fixture in the London art world for her irrepressible and genre-defying creations. Gleefully defying the original Enlightenment principles of Somerset House, which specifically forbade trees in the courtyard, she has provided the must-see art exhibition of 2021, and we just can’t wait to visit.
Aside from creating a jaw-dropping spectacle, Forest for Change has another purpose. As the name suggests, the forest was installed to inspire change and bring to life the solutions we need to achieve the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development, the seventeen goals that aim to address global challenges such as climate change, poverty, inequality, health, and justice.
After completing your journey to the heart of the forest, you’ll find a Global Goals installation with a powerful message inspiring us to combat climate change, fight inequality, and include everyone in the world’s recovery from Covid-19. Though Devlin is the artistic visionary – drawing inspiration from transformative forests in literature, such as Shakespeare’s forest of Arden and the enchanted woods of the Brothers Grimm – she’s been assisted by landscape designer Philip Jaffa, and urban greening specialists Scotscape. Forest for Change is presented in partnership with Project Everyone, the
With this year’s London Design Biennale “designed to entertain, inform and spark action”, per its president Sir John Sorrell, the entire show is angled to highlight these global challenges and crises, and to inspire all of us to take action. Indoors, you’ll find ‘The Global Goals Pavilion’, which further explains the role of the Global Goals and how we can help to achieve them. The theme of this year’s Biennale is ‘Resonance’, and exhibiting artists, countries, cities, and territories are all asked to respond to Devlin’s call to action: “how can design provide solutions to the major challenges of our time?”.
You’ll find installations from Canada, India, Venezuela, Hong Kong, and even Antarctica at the Biennale, which explore and interrogate everything from climate change to immigration, and from the pandemic to policy making. Elsewhere, you’ll find a ‘Sustainability and Innovation’ exhibition from universities and organisations, and an open call exhibit for submissions from the world’s design community, known as ‘Design in An Age of Crisis’. So in short, despite the allure of the forest, the exhibition will encourage you to see the wood for the tree.
Article Source: Secret London