Blurred Edges

Kitty Hillier and I have just held a joint exhibition of our work at Walcot Chapel Gallery, Bath, entitled Blurred Edges.  I re-installed part of my Abundance work for the exhibition – an interesting exercise re-creating a smaller version of the lichen-inspired piece, which crept up one corner of the chapel space.  It was great seeing the work in a completely different setting – a wonderful large indoor space with high ceilings, white walls, and beautiful chapel windows.  We had almost 500 visitors, a few who had also visited the Abundance Trail.    No permanent home yet for my Abundance pieces, though plenty of interest, so my garden/studio will be their home for the time being.

Lichen at Walcot Chapel Gallery IMG_7720IMG_7694 IMG_7758IMG_7709


Horn finds a New Home in Hillcommon

Thursday 17th October saw an early start at Little Yarford Farmhouse, with the artist,  garden owners,  new owner of the Horn, and ‘the removal men’  (a team from Mark Butterfield Furniture) on site at 08.30 , AND it wasn’t raining!

Paul Ridge of Hazelmere, Hillcommon, is the new owner of the Horn of Plenty, and plans to install it on his land.

Paul said; ‘ When I first saw the Horn of Plenty I loved its shape, scale and how it looks different from every angle.’

The removal proved to be surprisingly straightforward (from a non participant),  although we nearly lost a man in the pond!

Although some of these pictures are blurred, I like them, and I was walking backwards at speed on wet grass!







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Flowers, here

We sat in an elegant, sparsely furnished room at Tintinhull, its dark panels, a blackening fall of rain and the murmur and flicker of Sue Palmer’s film keeping us from the garden outside.


Silent words, slow paced and shamelessly repetitive, appeared on the screen: rhythmic insistence on another garden that can no longer be visited or simply spelled out in words.  Scraps: the baseline hum of bees; a distant voice, calling; the video camera momentarily re-animating meagre stills from a photographic past. 


The next morning I woke to the sound of childhood holidays by the sea.  I sensed their thrill under my skin even as I registered – not for the first time – the pebble drag and swish as workday traffic of an ordinary day.


Eyes shut at Hadspen

Eyes shut at Hadspen

In Flowers, where is the garden – a film that locates the now geographically unlocatable garden of Hadspen – Sue Palmer’s methodology is perhaps that of the dream. Her methods construct the condition of half-waking.  Drugged by her sounds and rhythms, we see and sense for real, a garden lost to us in reality.  And we cosset the lovely ache she has placed in our stomachs as we walk out of the dark room into the day.

Photo credit: Sue Palmer

On we go

It was sad to say goodbye to Esotera –  I loved being there.  On my final take down day last week Andrew and Shirley were hard at work on their next venture, wonderful aromas brewing in their kitchen for forthcoming Christmas fayres, industrious as always.   Thanks to their input we managed to make over £1000 for the NGS from Abundance takings, including entrance fees, crafts, plants, cakes and teas.

The  baby pigeons have nearly grown to full size and the garden is almost back to normal, bar a few bare patches of grass.

Some of my Abundance work is now on show in a new exhibition at Walcot Chapel Gallery, Bath with Kitty Hillier (another Abundance artist), entitled ‘Blurred Edges‘.  It runs from 14th – 27th October, open 10.30-4.30 daily, so please come along if you can.

IMG_7671 IMG_7665 Walcot

Loiter like a leaf

Hidden in plain sight here at Henley Mill is an island.  This area of land completely surrounded by water – a garden within a garden – effectively doubles the traditional notion of the garden as a world-within-a-world where we can contemplate modes of being.  The gardener must constantly re-consider her role within the abundance around her – when best to be ‘hands on’ and when ‘hands off’.


Carve (crave)


Carve (crave)
Ornamental vegetable garden, Henley Mill

Grounded in garden owner Sally Gregson’s knowledge of Japanese gardening, Megan Calver adds modest installations on the edge of change.  These easily read fakes and puns are intended to increase awareness of ‘the natural world’ by default.  Poised on the point of elegance (mimicking an aesthetic that finds surprising beauty in unlikely objects), the installations also suggest the added complications of deceit and transformation.  Carrots, appearing ready decorated in the soil, will whiten, be eaten by slugs and rot.  Cups and saucers suggest a tea party, but will sink in the rain.  Plummeting birds are a reminder that the blossom has fallen and that leaves, fruit and birds will also fall or migrate: Autumn has a melancholy air.  Containment and reversibility – of a pun, a garden, an object, a plant, a person – generate a multiplication of meanings on the rebound from each other.  Perhaps, strolling through the garden, the only thing we can be assured of is that we, and all manner of things, are here now.


Plumb (plum)
Orchard, Henley Mill


Plumb (plum)

A quiet celebration of the garden and its mutability is proposed.  Coats have been crafted that will allow some visitors to dress for the occasion.  The coats are designed to slow their wearers down, encouraging things to creep closer and people to become part of the whole.  Highlighting that tension between ‘hands on’ and ‘hands off’, and continuing the motif of reversibility, the double-sided coats, like the garden itself, offer a choice between camouflage and display.


Float (float)
Mill race, Henley Mill

Acknowledgement and thanks to

Sally and Peter Gregson, Henley Mill

Sarah Donoghue, tailor and designer, Sew Vintage, Wells

Mr. Fook Yin Chai, vegetable carver, The Golden Panda restaurant, Tiverton

Commissioned by Somerset Art Works in partnership with National Garden Scheme.  Curated by Zoe Li.  Funded by Arts Council England.

Photo credit: Michael Calver

Take down and look forward

Art Weeks is finished and many of us still busy in taking down work. I went to Malthouse Gallery at East Lambrook Garden today.. artists have already collected their work, there is only few posters left. I hope all hard working artists can now have a good rest and ready for the challenge ahead.

Here is the documentation of the event and exhibition at East Lambrook Garden:

From our photographer Nisha Haq:

From our Blogger Davina Jelley

New Life

Whilst manning at Esotera I’ve been watching a pigeon nesting.  Visitors can’t believe it at such a late time of year.  Well, she’s had babies!  It’s providing additional interest for visitors to Esotera!  Meanwhile, new life is sprouting through my installation – grass growing rapidly after all the rain and mushrooms are finding it a perfect haven.   Nature is once again doing its magic and I’m loving the enhancement.  Here’s to our final day – let’s hope the sun shines for us all!

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Aller Farmhouse Day 14

“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

It is a sad and happy day today….. I am extremely happy because the Labyrinth is complete. But very sad as my journey has come to an end for Aller Farmhouse and the making of my work.

It has been a wonderful experience, a real adventure! I have made lots of mistakes, learnt new things and met some pretty amazing people throughout these last few months.

Now time for celebration at the private view tomorrow and then a well deserved rest before the next journey begins.

“Desires, memories, fears, passions form labyrinths in which we lose and find and then lose ourselves again”.