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Quiet Forest

New Forest Imaginarium

Is there a particular place In the New Forest that sparks your imagination, brings to mind a story (real or fiction), an event, somewhere you hold close to your heart? A place that you return to often, in thought or in person; that you take with you in your imagination wherever you go?

The Imaginarium is a creative leap of hope and imagination in these challenging times: an inclusive landscape of the imagination and a way of articulating why the Forest is so important now and into the future. It will take the focus that lockdown has offered us to reconsider what we value most deeply in this world, and build upon it. A blueprint for the future.

You can help shape this unique landscape through your words, written or spoken, and by identifying a particular place in the Forest the inspires you, whether that is woodland, heath, coastline, wetland or built landscape. 

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"Island" Imaginarium Demo

"Mirror Forest" Imaginarium Demo

"Sea of Grass" Imaginarium Demo

"Traces" Imaginarium Demo

"Beach Bus" Imaginarium Demo

How it works

The Imaginarium is an interactive installation consisting of five digital dioramas, set within a gaming environment. Visitors can fly through these imaginative landscapes using simple hand gestures (removing the need to touch anything to operate the installation; a response to Covid precautions), travelling from one diorama to the next via portals.  The landscape of each diorama is a montage of LIDAR scans of the Forest, designed to create unexpected juxtapositions and alliances between different aspects of the Forest.


Visitors to the Imaginarium are invited to add their own thoughts, recollections, memories about the importance of the Forest to them through audio inserts placed at a chosen location within one of the dioramas. These inserts can be in the form of spoken word, poems, sound effects or music, and once placed in a diorama can be identified by a moving cloud of colourful points in the landscape, which when you draw near eplay the audio for as long as you remained there. Whilst travelling elsewhere within a diorama a specially composed soundtrack is audible.


In the exhibition the Imaginarium was accompanied by an introductory video, a map of its layout showing the various portals and where they lead, framed prints of selected views, and a small piece of found wood in the form of a flying dragon. Specially printed cards were available for visitors to record their chosen diorama and location within that, along with their email address, and the link to the spudWORKS website where audio can be uploaded for inclusion in the Imaginarium.

A key aspect of the Imaginarium is its aesthetic. This is designed to be beautiful, engaging, something of wonder, and unlike the popular image of computer game visuals. 

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