How does your garden grow? Abundance Pops Up in Taunton.

The Abundance Pop up Meadow has had such wonderful sunny weather for it’s tour of Taunton so far.

SMALL Abundance Project French Weir Fun Day (13)  SMALL Abundance Project French Weir Fun Day (12)

The public display first arrived on the 6th August visiting Lyngford Park Craft Day, popping up next to Freya Morgan’s craft tent, where more beautiful bees, flowers and butterflies were being made by the Priorswood community.

The display then travelled to French Weir Fun Day on the 11th August where the purples in the flowers really lifted against the lush bright grass. Visitors were invited to join Freya making more sculptures and the pictures below show what a wonderful creative time was had by all.

SMALL Abundance Project French Weir Fun Day (10)  SMALL Abundance Project French Weir Fun Day (6)

Since then the Abundance Pop up Meadow has visited the Priorswood Allotments Open Day on the 18th August, and Somerset Square (by the Brewhouse) from the 24th August until 7th September.

On Sunday 8th September they will be at the Longrun Meadow Open Day, you can find it just over the bridge from French Weir opposite the barn , and from then they will be shown as part of Somerset Art Weeks at Stoke St Mary Gardens between 21st and 24th September and The Walled Gardens of Cannington from 26th September until 6th October.

SMALL Abundance Project French Weir Fun Day (11)  SMALL Abundance Project French Weir Fun Day (2)

Photographs by Nisha Haq

After that they will be returned to the four Taunton Schools that made them, Staplegrove C of E Primary School, North Town Primary School, Lyngford Park Primary School and Blackbrook Primary School.

Willow, weaving and watching the flowers grow.

Under the inspirational shadow of the Willow Cathedral at Longrun Meadow the children settled down to carefully observe their chosen plants and pollinators. The site visits to local cultivated areas were very important research, so the children could learn about the role that pollinators play as well as observe the shapes and colours for their sculptures.

      IMG_1631Small

IMG_1625Small       IMG_1638Small

At school, working in groups of three the children began by bending willow to make the framework of their plant or insect. Once the shape was tied in place with string they moved on to the next stage. They carefully inserted garden netting into the hollow frame. This required careful measuring and a degree of manual dexterity to keep in it all in place using sticky tape and string. Then coloured strips from re-claimed fabrics were used to weave the bodies, being careful to match the colours correctly, so that each sculpture looks realistic.

IMG_1719SmallIMG_1765Small

IMG_1816Small

Finally, you have a beautiful finished object ready to be part of the Abundance Pop Up Meadow. In all approximately 40 pieces will have been made by around 140 Taunton primary school children.

IMG_1831Small

The Pop Up Meadow will be visiting  Lyngford Park Craft Day on 6th August 11am-3pm, French Weir Fun Day 11th August 12 noon- 4pm Priorswood Allotments 18th August (2-5.30pm £4 entry, child free)  as part of the National Gardens Scheme, Somerset Square Taunton (by the Brewhouse) 24th August and  Longrun Meadow Fun Day 8th September times to be announced.

Plus, during Somerset Art Weeks, details coming soon.

Photographs by Nisha Haq featuring pupils from North Town Primary School.

Site Visits and Making Days

Approximately thirty year three children from each of our four Taunton Schools were out and about exploring local flora with artist and workshop leader Freya Morgan as research for their pop-up meadow.

 Staplegrove at longrun  Staplegrove making day

Staplegrove C of E Primary School and North Town Primary School both really enjoyed their site visit to Longrun Meadow. It was perfect weather and to some of the children a wonderful discovery right on their doorstep. Staplegrove C of E Primary School  met Helen Lawy from Somerset Wildlife trust who helps look after the meadow and she explained about the cycle of life at Longrun; the role of all the different insects and animal species and plant varieties. There were beautiful plants to look out for: yellow flag irises, purple thistles and many types of wildflower and grasses.

Lyngford Park Primary School and Blackbrook Primary School visited local allotments, and met Head Gardener Bob Rawle who explained about maintaining and cultivating plants.

Freya asked the children to spot pollinators; bees, butterflies, beetles and other mini beasts which we then sketched as research for our Making Day. The children studied flowers they liked, noting the shape of leaves, the number of petals and the many different colours.

‘I have learnt what sort of butterfly I’m making and all the animals that the others have been making. If I see them again I will now recognise them.’ Tori

The Making Day was spent in the outside garden room as the weather was fantastic. They then worked in groups of three to create sculptures that collectively will form the Pop-up Meadow. They used willow, reclaimed fabrics, garden netting and string to bend, bind and weave working together to make sure everyone was involved. Various pollinators they created included buff-tailed bumblebees, white-tailed bumblebees, bee-fly, small tortoiseshell, brimstone and common blue butterflies. Some of the flowers they made were poppies, buttercups and cranesbill.

‘The one that I’m doing is a hover fly. I enjoyed the weaving of the fabric most.’ Ellison

In the afternoon they got very messy mixing clay to make seed bombs. The clay forms a casing for earth and seeds which can be kept for a few months ready for when you find a barren area that needs new growth. Then you throw the seed bomb and the clay breaks leaving the seeds ready to grow in their new home.

The Meadow will be ‘popping up’ at the Lyngford Park Craft Day on 6th August 11am-3pm, French Weir Fun Day on 11th August 12noon-4pm and Longrun Meadow Fun Day Sunday 8th September. More dates plus Somerset Art Weeks showcase to be announced soon.

Working with schools to create Pop-up Meadow

IMG_0683During the Summer Term 2013 a Pop-up Meadow will be created as part of the Abundance Arts Education Programme by primary school children from four Taunton Schools working with artist Freya Morgan (www.freyamorgan.com.

The aim of the project is to connect children and the wider public with the creativity of the cultivation of gardens and art making in Somerset. The project has been devised to develop 2d and 3d visual art skills and as well as learning around themes of cultivation and growing.

In preparation for the workshop the children will be spending half a day visiting a local meadow, allotment, garden or wildlife area to discover local flora and who/what plays a role in enabling certain species to flourish.

Freya will be encouraging the children to carefully observe individual plants, focussing on seed development and pollination. We also hope to meet people involved in the cultivation of the site we are visiting, to talk about their achievements and ambitions for the area.

The children will then work either individually or in small groups to create a chosen pollinator or wildflower sculpture using wire and willow.  Each pollinator or wildflower will be attached to the top of a stake. These can then be stuck into the ground, covering a space like a meadow.

A showcase of the artworks will be developed and ‘Pop-Up’ in Taunton at various locations over the summer.

Limited editions of Freya’s work will be exhibited in Abundance X Exhibition at East Lambrook Manor Gardens.