Lewisham's Secret Gardens

UP Projects' "Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven"
UP Projects says:

Working in partnership with Lewisham Council, we will launch, a series of new public art commissions this summer. Connected by the Waterlink Way, a cycle and foot path that follows the Rivers Pool and Ravensbourne, a series of new, temporary, permanent and digital public art commissions will investigate four parks, responding to their unique characteristics, communities and ecology.

Launching in July 2013, Secret Garden Project Lewisham will manifest in Sue Godfrey Nature Park, Cornmill Gardens, Ladywell Fields and Riverpool Linear & Bellingham Play Park and will encourage people to discover and use urban green space in creative ways. These artworks form part of the pan-London Secret Garden Project, a programme of environmental art commissions curated and produced by UP Projects.

The first commission to launch will be artist in residence, Rebecca Beinart, who will explore Sue Godfrey Nature Park, Deptford, drawing upon its rich history of local activism, trade and the home remedies that has made Deptford High Street renown. Hosting medicine making workshops, monthly shared meals and conversations with local residents, Beinart seeks to question the wider issues surrounding land use/regeneration and departure of plant knowledge amongst urban communities.

Travelling down to the South of the borough, local digital artist duo, Close and Remote, will be taking to the air, water and land on an expedition to offer a new perspective of 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 the River Pool and Ravensbourne. Utilising GPS technology and the captured film footage, they will develop a free mobile app that will lead visitors off the beaten track, to discover the unique soundscape of this ecologically rich park.

Later in the year, two permanent artworks will be developed for Cornmill Gardens and Ladywell Fields, launching in March 2014. Working in consultation with local residents and park users to shape the nature of these interventions, the works will draw upon the unique characteristics of each site.

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 four commissions that we are developing for Lewisham will be an exciting addition to the wider Secret Garden Project portfolio.”

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 look at them from a different perspective.”

Secret Garden Project Lewisham is an UP Projects production, working in close partnership with Lewisham Borough Council, and is supported by the Arts Council England.

Full details of the commissions and associated events will be posted on the project website www.secretgardenproject.co.uk