“Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.” ― Lewis Carroll,
The Hunter Penrose, a barely touched Olde Victorian warehouse in the heart of Borough Market, has been converted for the festive season in ‘The Imaginarium’ which will open on Saturday 18th November2017. The latest festive instalment from event creators Slap Ya Papa and Marbles & Ware, The Imaginarium is set in a parallel world where Christmas had been cancelled and St Nicky is leading the revolution with a cabal of rebel elves.
The Imaginarium is a pop-up arts space and will feature a six-week programme of events inspired by the boundless nature of human imagination. Like any good counter-culture, the Imaginarium is rife with artistic activity, fervent talks and creative energy. Highlights will include immersive theatrical feasts from Christmess, live jazz and cabaret performances, insightful talks and workshops, folkloric Sunday storytelling from Embers Collective and even a black comedy matinee of the Night before Christmas by Anthony Neilson.
The Imaginarium will also offer family workshops inspired by this mesmerising world and its fabulous cast of characters. This will include a drawing workshop from Drawing Theatre, with Mama Claus and the Green Fairy on hand to help little ones get their hands dirty and create messy masterpieces to take home. Beekeepers from Forest Garden will also be offering a beeswax candle dipping, moulding and rolling class – the perfect handmade stocking filler.
For those in need of a wellness kick during this season of excess, Hedge Herbs will be delving into the Victorian apothecary and teaching modern Londoners how to brew tonics and remedies to cure winter ailments. Forest Garden will demonstrate how to turn beeswax into beauty creams and balms to nourish chapped skin. For the green-fingered, BLO:AUMwill be unleashing flower-arranging skills and teach guests how to fashion a fragrant Christmas wreath from seasonal foliage.
Christmas is a time for reflection as well as frivolity, and at the heart of this festive revolution is conscientious desire to imagine a better future for our planet. This will be explored through ‘The Imagination Series’, a programme of talks and workshops lead by speakers actively endeavouring to make our world a fairer, greener and more inspiring place. Highlights include: ‘Reimagining textiles’ with regenerative textiles company Greater London Fibreshed; ‘Reimagining Masculinity’ with author Chris Hemmings and ‘Reimagining Economics’ with comedian Susie Steed.
While exploring this secret festive world guests will be able to salvage presents from the elves at the maker’s market. Open throughout the day, the downstairs workshop will be filled with the working studios of a host of independent makers. Craftspeople from across the capital will be making and selling an abundant trove of stocking fillers including jewellery from Lukie Lowe, AEQUILL candles, ceramics by Rose Nisbet, quirky lighting from Nice Lamp and elaborate headdresses from Isla Campbell Millinery.
Open throughout the day, The Imaginarium will also feature a café and wine bar where festivity-seekers will be able to pop in from the cold to enjoy a glass of glogg, accompanied by abundant platters of cheese. On select nights, cheese aficionados Fromage& Friends will be offering inspiration for this season’s cheeseboards through a night of cheese flights paired with an array of wines and beers. Open from Wednesday – Sunday, the Imaginarium cafe is a space to feed mind and body, welcoming to relax in the little library and try delicious cakes from Luminary bakery, oysters from Oyster Boy and some of the most delicious coffee around from The Ethiopian Coffee Company.
Bringing flair, fun and freedom to London’s festive scene, The Imaginarium is set to be the most exciting, dynamic and artistic space to be in this winter.
Full list of events: imaginarium.designmynight.com
Bazaar: Wednesday-Sunday 11am-8pm