Conceived by Naomi Pearce and inspired by the speculative diagram, ‘Mechanical Garden’, of late pyrotechnic sculptor Stephen Cripps, the project explores cycles of growth and destruction alongside the “motif and metaphor” of the garden – in this case one constructed from the scrap metal remnants of industry and urbanisation.
Re-imagined and materialised by artists Richard Sides, Ben Burgis and Stuart Middleton in Southwark Park’s Dilston Grove, the collaborative work will be activated by an audio guide, described by the press blurb as “part soundtrack, part oral history” featuring contributions by writers and musicians including Simon Werner, Alice Hattrick and Steven Warwick (aka Heatsick), as well as a series of performances by the likes of Anne Bean, Ashkelon and Alina Astrova (aka Inga Copeland).
With privatisation and gentrification becoming an increasingly urgent issue for the independent art space (see the current Lima Zulu eviction trial as just one example of many), Cripps’ history with 70s abandoned warehouse and ‘artist colony’ Butler’s Wharf, since converted into luxury flats, is expressed through an accompanying essay on The Woodmill event page:
“You recuperated it all into an alternative cycle, one that didn’t have to make any economic sense, and one that would end with a garden party.”
See The Woodmill website for details. **