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Forest Uprising, Block9
Waltham Forest, London Borough of Culture, Closing Ceremony, 2019
Role: Set Designer, on-site design manager

"As the finale event for Waltham Forest, London Borough of Culture 2019, Forest Uprising was an illuminated urban sculpture garden and outdoor performance space. Visitors wandered amongst artworks listening to music and poetry from across the borough with live immersive theatre and one-off installations, with a twist at every turn from protesting forest creatures to special-guest performances. The young people of Waltham Forest were asked a question, ‘What kind of world do you want to live in?’ The outcome of this borough-wide conversation became the starting point for Block9 in transforming Leyton Sports Ground into an alternative reality. Seeds of ideas germinate, hopes and ambitions are nurtured and given space to grow; whilst the many voices of the forest, loud and clear, echo all around.

Forest Uprising contained four unique installations. Each explore the genesis of new ideas:


Pillars of Society

A forest of 80 tree-like pillars—reminiscent of the protective cages placed around young saplings—sits within a specially composed soundtrack. How do we safeguard the ideas, hopes and dreams of our young people, the future pillars of our society?


Out of Time

A shipping container filled with video projection presents contradictory views of the world since 2007 – the year the iPhone was launched. The accompanying soundtrack features the voices of local children born that same year, describing their idealised future in answer to the question: ‘What kind of world do you want to live in?’


The Glasshouse

Laboratory technicians busy themselves at racks of seedlings, tending to their every need. This is a democratic environment where ideas are nurtured, but at what point do care and attention tip over into manipulation and control? The Glasshouse audio features wisdom and verse from local spoken word artists.



The main performance stage at Forest Uprising is a loading bay complete with a 40ft articulated lorry. Depot workers carefully handle the fragile cargo—ideas—presented as music and poetry from local and international talent."

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