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A semi-permanent installation within the Artsadmin Canteen

an image of a person within forrest. They are facing away from the camera and wearing a pair of headphones. They are surrounded with plants and moss and are lit by a warm pink light, hanging on the wall in front of them.
Image by Daisy Mason

Forrest is a unique partnership between multiple species, an opportunity for collaboration, and an invitation for you to be part of something special.  

Part of biome: experiments in radical kinship, a year-long residency programme in the Artsadmin Canteen from artist, writer, and human ecologist Zoë Laureen Palmer

This tiny urban biome within the Artsadmin Canteen provides a sanctuary for rest and regeneration and acts as an experiment in how we might give and receive mutual care with the more than human living world. forrest is populated by a diverse range of plants, mosses, micro-organisms and seeds and welcomes you to find peace and tranquillity within its embrace, guided by a soundtrack from artist Keir vine.

forrest invites us to explore our entanglement with mosses and plants, whose ancestors have inhabited the earth for over 145 million years. The ancient cyanobacteria Spriulina rests within forrest whilst its nutrients are cycled back into its ever-evolving eco system of over 40 known plant and moss species, 60 individual plants and thousands of unknowns.

Seeds and ancient bacteria rest within the forrest, as their nutrients are cycled back into its ever-evolving ecosystem. Visitors to forrest can contribute to its diverse ecosystem through misting or offering houseplants that are unwanted or in need of regeneration. 

With the exception of lilies and orchids salvaged from the discounted dying houseplant racks in a major retail space, the plants, mosses and algae in the forrest have all been been gifted, pruned or propagated by Zoë to highlight the way in which plants continue to lie at the heart of the unsustainable movement and commodification of living species across the globe. 

In times of ecosystem collapse and unprecedented biodiversity loss, forrest asks what more will it take for us to afford rest and regeneration to the dying living world of which we are all a part.

Forrest visions is a sonic meditation exploring the entanglement of grief, loss, enchantment and transformation in relationship with our living, dying world. Visitors to forrest are encouraged to experience this piece whilst resting within the space.

Collaborate with us:

  • Come on in – join us for an immersive forrest experience
  • Offer mist to our plants and mosses
  • Contribute to the forrest’s ever evolving biome by gifting your unwanted houseplants. Please leave these at the entrance to the canteen
  • Daily care – Artsadmin and Caffe Genco
  • Horticultural Consultant – Will Gould
  • Sound Artist – Keir Vine
  • Design Assistant – Georgina E. Mackenzie
  • Art Technician – Dave Ashby
  • Concept/Design – Zoë Laureen Palmer
  • The Artsadmin Canteen is accessible to wheelchair users and welcome guide, hearing, emotional support and assistance dogs.
  • there are wheelchair accessible toilets. Read more about Accessibility at Toynbee Studios.
  • All toilets at Toynbee Studios are gender neutral.
  • There is outdoor and distanced indoor seating.
  • A relaxed performance kit with yoga mats, blankets, cushions and ear defenders is available.

Please email or call 020 7247 5102 if you have any further access requests.

Date and time

17 October – 15 December 2023
11am, 12pm, 1pm bookable slots, Monday - Friday


Free, booking required
Book online


Toynbee Studios
28 Commercial Street
London, E1 6AB
Tel: 020 7247 5102
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