Later this month, the Rijnhaven in Rotterdam will become home to a colourful, floating forest of elm trees. The Dobberend Bos or ‘Bobbing Forest’ art project aims to inspire questions about the relationship between the city dweller and nature – but it is also a thought-provoking study in recycling.
The idea was originally conceived on a smaller scale by Dutch/Colombian artist Jorge Bakker. His art installation, In Search Of Habitus, featured a miniature forest floating in a water-filled tank.
The concept is now being brought to life in full size through an initiative led by Jeroen Everaert (art producer Mothership & Brotherhood), Anne van der Zwaag (Art historian and cultural entrepreneur) and Jurgen Bey (Dutch designer).
The Bobbing Forest will consist of 20 elm trees planted in recycled sea buoys that are attached to the river bed. The buoys became available to recycle when Rijkswaterstaat (Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment) replaced the existing steel buoys for synthetic ones.
Research and feasibility studies started in 2012, with the support of several colleges and universities. This led to the launch of two prototypes in 2014.
The 20 bobbing trees will be situated in a disused harbour basin on the Rijnhaven between the Luxor Theatre and Het Drijvend Paviljoen (The Floating Pavilion).
The Municipality of Rotterdam has designated the disused harbour basin as a hothouse for innovative and sustainable initiatives that will enhance and revitalise the local area. Having long since outgrown its original use, one might say that the harbour basin itself is now being recycled.
Launch of the Bobbing Forest will take place during National Tree Planting Day on March 16th, and this charming aquatic forest will remain in situ for a period of five to ten years.
For full details of the project, visit the Bobbing Forest website >
To find out more about the installation team, visit the Mothership website >
Photo credits: Olivier Scheffer, Jeroen Everaert
The Bobbing Forest features in the February edition of Rhine Capital Partners client reporting.
- On 27th February 2016