It’s mind over matter at Selfridges Birmingham this month (February) as the store celebrates the power and positive impact of imagination with its new wellbeing campaign, aptly named the Festival of Imagination.

Between the 5th and 23rd February the festival, which is the brainchild of Selfridges’ Creative Director Alannah Weston, will see the store play host to a series of inspirational lectures, workshops and exciting live interactive experiences. These will take place in a specially designed pop-up space, The Imaginarium designed by artist Beth Derbyshire, built in the store’s Foodhall.

Inspired by founder Harry Gordon Selfridge’s cherished motto “Develop imagination, throw away routine”, and his passionate belief in imagination being the mother of originality, the Festival of Imagination draws on international and regional talent celebrating the careers and singular visions of some of the finest regional creatives, as well as the work of critically renowned scientists, authors and filmmakers.

The Festival of Imagination is Selfridges’ follow up to its first wellbeing campaign, No Noise launched last January, which promoted the power of meditation and ‘less is more’. No Noise became one of the store’s most talked-about initiatives ever.

At Selfridges Birmingham, the eclectic line-up kicks off with British author and journalist Lucy Hawking, who has co-written three novels for youngsters with her father, the world famous scientist Stephen Hawking.

Over 60 intellectuals, artists, theatre producers and writers will all take to the stage to explore the positive impact of imagination, with contributions from both BIAD and Birmingham City University.

Highlights from the festival include Revolution 18’s David Bowie disco-documentary (7th February), CFAR’s Professor Johnny Golding’s seminar on ‘Urban Alchemy’ (13th February), Caroline Hobkinson’s interactive ‘Touching Taste’ food workshop and Birmingham theatre company Stan’s Café’s ‘Theatre of the Future’ discussion (21st February).

Beth Derbyshire, artist and lecturer at Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD), worked with Selfridges to source and secure the ‘imagineers’ and has curated the festival during its three-week run, along with the producer, Sophia Tarr.

Speaking of the programme, Derbyshire said: “As a city, Birmingham is known for being creative, imaginative, and a city that makes things. The Festival of Imagination is an inspiring initiative by Selfridges to encourage us all to think beyond modern day boundaries and imagine what might be possible in the future.The festival will encourage us all to think bigger than ever before, across a vivid and varied range of disciplines that are accessible to any Selfridges customer.”

“This is therefore a wonderful opportunity for us at Birmingham City University to connect to Selfridges to provide a free space in which retail and education come together to educate the public on how to unlock their own imagination.”

Vicki Cain, general manager at Selfridges Birmingham, said: “Imagination is a theme that underpins everything we do in our business, so we’re proud to be able to celebrate not only our own creativity, but that of others in the city and beyond during the festival.

“There really is something for everyone on the line-up and we promise you’ll leave the store inspired and enlightened  - just as Mr. Selfridge would have wanted.”

For more information on the Festival of Imagination, or to book tickets, email FOIBirmingham@selfridges.co.uk

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