tales from woodlandia

Brighton Special: Tales from Woodlandia: an Immersive Installation

Tales from Woodlandia: an Immersive Installation | Patterns, Brighton | 4 November 2016 – Early February 2017


Patterns, the bar, music and cultural venue on Marine Parade in Brighton, have launched an installation inspired by nature across the entire ground floor. The opening featured complementary cocktails, reasonably-priced food, extremely polite staff, and a cosy atmosphere. It’s great to see a venue pulling out all the stops for a launch night, and if it carries on like this, the installation will be much missed come Spring. Woodlandia is as much informed by the Chronicles of Narnia as the great outdoors, with nods to the story through the Turkish Delight-themed drinks, and the fur coats lining the entrance as per the famous wardrobe.

The scene is brought to life by a multi-level digitally projected and interlinked forest, complete with softly falling snowflake and inquisitive wild animals. Projection artist Thomas Buckley created the digital forest as an extended sequel to his two-day Autumn project at The Brighton Dome during Brighton Digital Festival. But this is more than an installation: it’s that rare thing, an art project you can inhabit for an evening having fun, rather than observing at one removed in a gallery.

Patterns have made a clever move here, creating a Christmas atmosphere without the usual tinsel and tree paraphernalia, invoking an experience that’s more like ice skating or walking in the snow. There’s also an incentive to go back, as the scenes will change over time when the forest undergoes a ‘thaw’. This is the type of endeavour Brighton promises and should deliver more often. Let’s hope the idea continues in some other form after this particular project ends in February next year.