Bompas & Parr

Library of Shadows: A Garden of Fear

Night-vision goggles and a health disclaimer: a profoundly dark experience that avoided the typical, clichéd horrors of Halloween.
Library of Shadows: A Garden of Fear

Embracing the mysteries of the night

London, 2018: For Halloween 2018, the studio invited guests to don night-vision goggles, explore the darkness and embrace the fear factor. Abandon hope all ye who enter Library of Shadows: A Garden of Fear.

Bompas & Parr conceptualised a space completely devoid of all light filled with mysterious creatures, cavities of depravity and the sounds and scents of fear.

Appearing at the RHS Urban Garden Show 2018, Library of Shadows: A Garden of Fear was a celebration of the wonders of the botanical and biological world after dark. Such is the power of fear that all souls who dared enter were required to fill in a health disclaimer.

At its centre was a magical nightmare garden inspired by the witching hour, inhabited by butterflies that pollinate nocturnal flowers and that have tongues longer than their bodies to enable them to source nectar from night-flowering plants. The night garden was designed to focus attention on improving the state of the UK’s bees and other pollinating insects, identified as part of the Government’s National Pollinator Strategy which focuses on monitoring their activity through 2024.

The experience was a disruptive alternative to the clichés of Halloween, offering a real-world authenticity about the genuine night-time terrors in contrast to the confected tales of ghosts, goblins and witches that abound throughout that time of year.

Just as the wonders of the deep sea largely remain a mystery to mankind, so too the world of darkness that surrounds us every evening contains just as many intriguing secrets.