In December 2019 I was commissioned by Wakefield Council to create an installation based on a rhubarb forcing shed for their 2020 Wakefield Rhubarb Festival.

I designed a multi-compartment installation within a 17m long shed interior that house real growing rhubarb, light installations, and a soundscape by composer and sound artist Duncan Chapman, composed of actual sounds made by growing rhubarb.

Rhubarb Shed explores the energies at the heart of our relationship with plants.
Plants absorb solar energy from the Sun and transform it into chemical energy. When we eat plants the chemical energy is transformed into mechanical, thermal and electrical energy, enabling us to be active.

Rhubarb Shed is divided into three sections representing these energies.
The real rhubarb in section one shows how the stored chemical energy enables the plants to grow in the dark.
In section two the illuminated rhubarb lanterns are a visual representation of the energy in the growing plants.

The thoughts and emotions written on the rhubarb jam jars in section three represent how the energy we get by eating food made from plants makes us active.

The shed was constructed by artist duo Annie Nelson and Chris Woodward (Yoke), the rhubarb lanterns were designed with artist Helen Thomas and made by communities across the Wakefield District.

The shed opened on Monday 17th February and closed on Sunday 23rd February and attracted 18000 visitors.

(photographs by Jessica Rowbottom unless otherwise stated)

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