27 January 2021

Bobbing Forest lands at Floriade

After 5 years of floating in the Rotterdam Rijn Harbour, the life artwork project ‘Bobbing Forest’ was relocated to the lake Weerwater at Floriade Expo 2022 in Almere. Courtesy of the municipality Rotterdam who loaned the ‘Bobbing Forest’ for a period of two years. The artwork created by the company Mothership consists of 20 recycled sea buoys from the North Sea filled with 20 Dutch elm trees. These floating trees provide extra greening, compensation of CO2 and reduction of particulate matter. During the Floriade Preview 2021 and the Expo in 2022, visitors can view the art installation from the cable car, the tour boat and from the terrace on the Weerwater.

Growing Green Cities

Beside its greening effect in the city the Bobbing Forest also emphasizes the importance of climate adaptation, innovation, health and raising awareness to the need of greenery amongst children and adults. This is consistent with the theme of Floriade ‘Growing Green Cities’. According to Sven Stimac, COO Floriade Expo 2022, it is a valuable addition to the Expo’s rich arts and cultural program. “We are pleased that the trees have a new berth at Floriade”, says Stimac.

The Bobbing Forest is a concept by Jeroen Everaert, founder of art producer Mothership, based on the artwork “In Search Of Habitus” by artist Jorge Bakker.

Climate change

Van den Berk Nurseries provided the trees. The elms (Ulmus ‘Dodoens’) are strong wind-resistant trees. “We take the trees out of their usual context to arouse the curiosity of visitors. On the one hand, it is a call to take good care of our trees, as trees are essential for life. On the other hand, we draw attention to climate change. If we are not careful, the trees will soon be really floating on the water due to the rise in sea levels”, says Anneke de Jong on behalf of Van den Berk Nurseries. Van den Berk Nurseries will also exhibit during the Expo. They will have one buoy with a large tree, where the story about the value of trees for the climate, biodiversity and quality of life in the city will be told.

The sea buoys of the artwork became available when the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management replaced all steel North Sea buoys with plastic ones. GKB Group has developed and produced the Bobbing Forest technically. For the move to Floriade, GKB has removed the forest with cranes from the Rijn Harbour and adapted the buoys on the wharf so that they can float in the shallow water near Floriade.

The installation “In Search Of Habitus” by artist Jorge Bakker consists of a water-filled aquarium and floating floats with scale model trees on top. The miniature trees float loosely on and over the water and raise questions about the relationship between the urban dweller and nature and how both relate to each other and the world around them.