The spectacular finale of this year’s Liverpool City Region Cultural Events programme – Imagine Bamboo is Everywhere – has been unveiled with a sneak preview of ten giant bamboo structures – some up to 12 feet tall – as well as a ‘wacky races’ of bamboo bikes and trikes as a taster of what’s to come over the next few weeks.
The bamboo customised bikes will be heading to all six areas of the city region ahead of weekend events held in each of the boroughs during August where the spectacular bamboo art installations will be exhibited.
The structures have been inspired by local themes and landscapes such as the views of Wirral, the bridges of Halton and the waves on Sefton’s beaches.
Every weekend, in each location across Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral, the public will be able to marvel at the ingenious bamboo structures, enjoy performances, live music from the Imagine Bamboo Orchestra led by Pagoda Arts, test out their balance and climbing skills on some specially made bamboo play equipment and have a go at making their own creations in the bamboo crafting zones.
Imagine Bamboo is Everywhere will be at Wirral Country Park, Thurstaston, on Saturday 19 August from 11am until 4pm.
Community groups, young climate leaders and artists from across Liverpool City Region have been working together, alongside engineers from Atelier One and bamboo specialists from Bali, Ghana, Australia, and India, who have been supporting the artists to explore UK bamboo as a sustainable material for the future.
Bamboo is one of the strongest, most flexible and sustainable materials in the world. It has uses in design, construction, green innovation, farming, toxic soil remediation and carbon capture.
Cllr Gill Wood Deputy Portfolio Holder for Net Zero and Air Quality for the Combined Authority said: “This year’s LCR Cultural Events programme is a perfect balance of culture, creativity and looking to the future by exploring exciting alternative avenues using sustainable building materials like bamboo. Environmentalists have long been encouraging Western countries to adopt the practice in a bid to help the planet and here we are showing what can be achieved with these magnificent structures.
“By Imagining Bamboo is Everywhere, we are considering the possibilities it could bring to our area in the same way as it already does in areas of Asia, Africa and South America with its long tradition of being used as a structural material for scaffolding, bridges, housing, and buildings. With our ultimate goal for the city region to reach net zero by 2040, it’s opening the door to a myriad of possibilities through art.”
The impressive architectural installations are made entirely of sustainable borinda bamboo, originally from mountainous Tibet and carefully harvested from Wirral’s Ness Botanic Gardens thanks to a team from the University of Liverpool.
Imagine Bamboo is Everywhere follows on from the Lost Castles and Constellations LCR Cultural Events projects that were held in the city region in 2018 and 2019. Funded by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority as part of this year’s LCR Cultural Events programme, it is delivered in partnership with Imagineer and independent creative director Orit Azaz, with producer and production support from Culture Liverpool.
Orit Azaz, Creative Director of Imagine Bamboo is Everywhere said, “We hope that lots of people will come along to the free Imagine Bamboo is Everywhere events this August. We’re planning a programme of free family-friendly outdoor activities, with giant bamboo structures, playful performances, music, circus workshops and crafting. You can run away with the bamboo circus, then have a go at making your own creation in our bamboo crafting zone. It will be great fun and a real talking point!”
Imagine Bamboo is Everywhere began last year with the first stage of the project Taking Root, which saw 24 baby borinda bamboo plants taken home and raised by volunteer ‘parents’ who logged their growth via a web portal as they cared for them over the Spring and early Summer.
They were then planted in Court Hey Park in Knowsley, to become a sustainable building material for the future. It takes seven years’ growth for the bamboo to be ready as a building material.