New arts project uncovers Lewisham’s Secret Gardens

The new Secret Garden Project, bringing art to local parks and beauty-spots  Photo: Bill Konos

The new Secret Garden Project, bringing art to local parks and beauty-spots  Photo: Bill Konos

The Secret Garden Project Lewisham aims to bring art to local waterways and parks. The project, which launched at the end of July,  is a series of artist commissions, talks and events exploring the parklands that border the Rivers Pool and Ravensbourne as they navigate Lewisham borough.

The events, which begin this weekend are commissioned and curated by UP Projects, working in partnership with Lewisham Council, and will create a series of new public art works this summer.  New temporary, permanent and digital public art installations will be created in four parks: Sue Godfrey Nature Park, Cornmill Gardens, Ladywell Fields and Riverpool Linear and Bellingham Play Park, and the project aims to encourage people to discover and use urban green space in creative ways.

Emma Underhill, Director, UP Projects said: “We are really pleased to have the opportunity to take the Secret Garden Project to Lewisham and work in a series of fascinating green spaces that will provide a rich context for artists to respond to both in terms of local heritage and also ecological value.”

The first of a series of events exploring Deptford’s local green spaces, rich history of local activism and maritime legacy will take place on Saturday, August 10 at Sue Godfrey Nature Park. Grasshoppers & Ghost Gardens is a walk that will be led by artist-in-residence, Rebecca Beinart.

Plans for the Secret Garden Project, Lewisham

The Secret Garden Project aims to make the most of Lewisham’s green spaces

South of the borough, local digital artist duo, Close and Remote, will take to the air, water and land on an expedition to offer a fresh perspective on Riverpool Linear and Bellingham Play Park.

Through a series of events, participants will use radio-controlled smart technologies, miniature cameras and binaural microphones to capture different vantage points of these areas.

Utilising GPS technology and film footage, a free mobile app will be developed that will lead visitors off the beaten track enabling them to discover the unique soundscape of this ecologically rich park.

Later in 2013, two permanent artworks will be developed for Cornmill Gardens and Ladywell Fields and are expected to be complete by March 2014. Working in consultation with local residents and park users, the works will draw upon the unique characteristics of each of the two green spaces.

Councillor Susan Wise, Cabinet Member for Customer Services at Lewisham Council, said: “We are very fortunate to have one of Inner London’s greenest boroughs and our parks are well loved and well used.  The Secret Garden Project is a great idea and it should encourage even more people to discover Lewisham’s wonderful green spaces and to approach them from a different perspective.”

UP Projects will be offering a free volunteer scheme for local residents, who are seeking professional development within the cultural and events sector.  Individuals will have the opportunity to gain hands on training in the planning and delivery of contemporary commissioning and events management.

Visit the Secret Garden Project Lewisham website for more information about future events.

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