A sculpture garden once situated on St. Norbert Road and now relocated to St. Asaph Rd, Brockley, SE London, UK.
Adhering to social distancing but allowing art to be experienced from the garden wall.
How did it all begin?
A project that grew (literally) from a garden, founder Lucie MacGregor is a mixed-media artist who's making is concerned with social interaction and intervention. During the peculiar few months of Spring 2020, her garden became a site of sanctuary and reflection. She found herself meandering through making sculpture from objects from around her home and the street outside whilst sharing her make-shift studio space with the immediate processes of planting and gardening. The limited garden space she has access to in SE London became an unconventional site for playing with materials, combining structures with seedlings, rocks with paint, clay with shells. Lockdown provided an unlikely situation for the artist to consider the garden as a place to make art and to share collective discussion with neighbours as her audience.
Based in London, but originally from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, Lucie has facilitated workshops with Tate Exchange, Woven Festival in Kirklees and has recently being developing workshop activities with The Children's Art School in Yorkshire. Expanding the Garden Wall project through her curational research and experimentation, her recent collaboration with a Lewisham resident and Deptford X Festival lead to be the first exhibition hosted in the Garden Wall space.
"During lockdown, the ‘Garden Wall’ project has developed from a collective re-appreciation of outdoor space and my own interests in the crossover between art and nature. Reading Derek Jarman’s ‘Modern Nature’ and finding routine and ritual in nurturing plants since the spring, flocks of research and lots of conversations have eradicated the physical divisions of the garden wall itself and germinated a new idea of what 'The Garden' is."
The Garden Wall space has been considered, planted, documented and discussed over the past few months. Its sturdy soil and barren surface holds a framed patch of soil which can be seen by those passing by. The Garden Wall sculpture garden will not only exist physically outside, but as a digital resource so it can be shared and seen by other individuals both within and beyond the local area. The translation between physical and virtual is a notion that many of us more so now than ever have being have to acclimatise to. The nomadic, changing, breathing body that the garden is plays with this blurring of two polar-oppoisite boundaries.
Contemplating access to green space, we recognise as a socially-engaged project, many do not have access to a garden and therefore want to invite others to be part of the curation and collaboration of our garden. Garden Wall will aim to surpass the wall around it and behave as a threshold for community interaction with art.
Adhering to social distancing, the garden will host artworks and bring together a collective voice considering its potential and purpose. We continue to follow government guidelines closely and maintain a safe viewing space.The Garden Wall is a walled-in space that can be seen from the street it resides on, this wall is perceived to us as a threshold for creative workshops to be challenged and experimented through. It does not intend to shut out but instead will frame an artwork/s in which to reach out to neighbours and prompt conversation and question.
A core aim of this project is to offer creative engagement and an inclusive opportunity to all, to provide access to creative opportunities and eradicate barriers. We want to let those locally know we support them. We stand in solidarity with our community members, our neighbours and friends, people of colour (POC) who have faced forms of racism and discrimination. We hope the Garden Wall Sculpture Garden can be an accessible and enjoyable addition to the community, being a positive and diverse platform for creative collaborations to occur.
It is important that we awknowledge the colonialist histories many public and private gardens are built upon. Addressing 'art space' in the context of a European and white-centric framework, Garden Wall attempts to establish inclusive, anti-racist and ethically generated exchanges. We aim for the private garden to become one that can be shared, recognising many people do not have access to their own garden space or the physical capabilities to be regularly outside or beyond the home. this project has become a threshold for us to relearn and discuss, to respect individual circumstances and to listen, support and heal.
Social engagement in any form, naturally will bring discomfort and questions. It is this that is the important work and the work that requires patience and conversation. As a founder of this socially engaged project, I aim and still work to facilitate and approach these moments of meeting through empathy, sensitivity and listening. If you are interested in discussing the points mentioned above, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We are happy to offer relevant reading and links to support further enquires.