Art and gardening combine in an exciting new tie up between Somerset Art Works (the charity running Somerset Arts Week) and cancer fund raising charity the National Gardens Scheme. It’s a special arty garden trail through 8 of Somerset’s charming private gardens giving festivalgoers the opportunity to view one off site-specific pieces of art and some magnificent gardens.
Each garden has been teamed up with an artist or sculptor each of whom will be creating a site specific work inspired by ‘their’ allotted garden. Martock based artist, Byony Tidball is developing a piece for gardening journalist, Rebecca Pow’s garden at Tuckers Farmhouse near Taunton. The garden is a combination of formal areas and some extensive natural areas where wildlife is encouraged and Bryony is crafting some giant apple sculptures made from straw to be positioned in the meadow area. She is weaving traditional folklore ideas based on corn dollies into her contemporary straw work:
‘I think my pieces will work really well for my harvest related piece and it picks up on the overall theme for the trail of the abundant produce available from the land during the autumn. I’ve really enjoyed discussing my ideas with Rebecca and understanding her own garden ethos. I think we should make a great partnership!’ says Bryony.
Rebecca is enthusiastic about this enterprising addition to the garden: ‘I think combining art with the garden is a really excellent idea and this trail opens up an exciting new opportunity for visitors during the Art Week.’
Fyrse Cottage garden, created by landscape architect Stephanie Crockett will open in conjunction with Tuckers Farmhouse so that in Stoke St Mary you get two gardens to enjoy on the Abundance Art Trail. They will open on Saturday September 21st and Sunday 22nd and Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th, 11am – 4pm. Artist Bryony Tidball will be in the garden on Sunday 22nd to meet visitors and talk about her work. An additional attraction at Tuckers Farmhouse will be the captivating Pop Up Meadow, created by children from four Taunton Schools working with artist Freya Morgan www.freyamorgan.com inspired by the themes of cultivation and growing. It includes vibrant home crafted butterflies and colourful flowers all made by the children.
All the individual artists involved in the Abundance Trail will be using locally sourced materials to compliment or contrast with the setting, culture and history of each garden so that each work of art will be unique. Working alongside Bryony Tidball are: Megan Calver, Fiona Campbell, Alison Cockcroft, Kitty Hiller, Leah Hislop, Sue Palmer and Gillian Widden.
Fiona Campbell, intends to recreate a Garden of Eden at the Esotera Garden at Foddington using mixed media reclaimed materials on a large scale to conjure up a ‘garden of earthly delights.’ And artist Sue Palmer is producing a screen based work linking the relationship between time, the garden and the gardener. The idea was prompted by the dispersal of plants, seeds and people when the world famous Hadspen Garden, created by Nori and Sandra Pope, near Castle Cary closed in 2005. Palmer’s art work will fittingly be positioned at Tintinhull, the National Trust garden where Penelope Hobhouse, originally so influential at Hadspen before the Popes took over, went on to garden.
Gardens in the trail are: The Walled Gardens of Cannington (near Bridgwater, Sedgemoor), Little Yarford Farmhouse (Kingston St Mary, near Taunton), Stoke St. Mary Gardens – Tuckers Farmhouse and Fyrse Cottage (Stoke St. Mary, near Taunton), Aller Farmhouse (Williton, West Somerset), Tintinhull Garden (Tintinhull), Esotera (Foddington, nr Babcary) and Henley Mill (Wookey, Mendip).
To find out more visit www.somersetartworks.org.uk/venues/abundance or click the link below to download an article from September's Somerset Life magazine.