The City’s Glynn Vivian Art Gallery commissioned me to further develop the Vetch Veg garden project in two ways as part of its offsite programme. Firstly, to built a shed/library at the centre of the garden. This process became a collaborative project with Tim Mitchell, a gardener from the Vetch Veg site, many other gardeners including children also contributed to the build and design. We found out that Richard Glynn Vivian set up a Home for the Blind, which was due to be demolished , in the grounds was an old summer house or shed. The shed was deconstructed and adapted and rebuilt in its new site – at the heart of the Vetch Veg site. The shed would act as a meeting space for the gardeners, a library and a recreational space. The library will have books from many different disciplines – gardening, art, architecture, philosophy, cookery, ecology and alternative technologies, which are a legacy of the interdisciplinary approach that underlies this project and will remain as an archival space for the project as an artwork.

The Festival of Ideas was commissioned and developed in order to launch the shed. A weekend long series of talks, installations, lectures, gigs, feasts, yoga and cooking actions across the site, for free. Speakers, performers and contributing artists included Shimabuku, Alistar Hudson of Grizedale Arts, Nils Norman, The Institute for Imagined Futures and Unknown Lands, Nina Pope, Peter Finnemore, Rabab Ghazoul, Juno Projects, Maria Pask, Paul Duerinckx, as well as musicians and DJ’S, Sarah Passmore, Swansea Ukulele Orchestra.

The Festival was a three day event which started with Yoga every morning and went on till late in the evening. A full program and a series of onsite works were available to view with many of the artists also cooking foods connected to the ideas visible in their individual practice. Rabab Ghazoul cooking Baklava and Shimabuku cooking freshly picked produce to make tempura battered vegetables.

  • Dimensions: 3 days
  • Contexts: Public art
  • Tags: Collaboration, Cooking, Dialogue, Environmental, Social Engaged, Talks