We were promised lots more activity during the B2022 Festival linked with the Birmingham Commonwealth games. When a readymade garden in the middle of Birmingham was announced, it really caught the public imagination. PoliNations was not like any other garden, attracting huge anticipation on what to expect. This display was stunning and so different to what had gone before during the festival. PoliNations is difficult to sum up in a few words. I will try to describe the scene but I am aware that the gardens brought out different personal experiences from those who went.
To put it simply, Victoria square was transformed into a garden. The paving stones, concrete, and other parts of the square were covered with grass and flowers. There were 5 manmade trees with large umbrella like canopies. These trees were 40 ft high and towered above the landscape with the trunks covered with colourful patterns. At ground level, there were walkways through a garden of plants. Access was by several entrances which lead to different zones. Iconic plants such as apple, fern, roses and tulips were featured. Other parts of the garden were called Fringe, Sunny or Temperature zones and had flowers to match the theme. The map shown provides a key to the different areas.
The sensory garden had varieties of flowers based on those you would normally find in the City. I visited twice. Once while it was raining and the second time when the sun shone. I enjoyed all the textures, interaction with people and the use of mirrors on the public seating.
There was a full programme of events including music, dance and theatre which were held on either the large stage or the many smaller places through out the installation. I was not able to attend these shows but my visits during the day gave me a flavour of the place. PoliNations was magical but quirky, natural and surreal. The diversity of the place was displayed in the range of flowers, the colours on offer and the people passing through. The place eventually caught up with you and made you sit down and take in the uniqueness of everything.
PoliNations was a photographers delight allowing you to take a range of pictures. There were many stunning pictures taken using drones but I am a simple foot on the ground photographer and this is my interpretation of the place. A simple search on Instagram shows the variety of pictures that were taken. Please enjoy my pictures of my visit to PoliNations which serve as a memory of an extra-ordinary visit.
More pictures to view of PoliNations in the rain and the sun.