In Spring 2014 two parallel exhibitions shone a light on our affinity with plants, fascination with gardens and abiding interest in the history and science of horticulture. Linked by an archive of Gardening journals in the botanic library, the two exhibitons were a collective response to articles, selected and distributed by metron collaborative, dating from 1840 to the present day.
In breaking of tulips:unwrapping books, new work by 28 artists was installed in the historic University of Oxford Botanic Garden, and could be viewed every day between March 20 and 25 May - creating surprise encounters in a very special setting - combining art and science, pleasure and knowledge amongst the plant collections grown for research, display and education.
Over two weekends, in April and May, art and design students from the CIty of Oxford College used a small East Oxford Gallery to create a lively riposte to the major ten week exhibition.
The site specific challenge of putting work in a Botanic Garden, a 'living museum' over a period of maximum growth and challenging weather conditions, was matched by the space constraints of a small experimental space a bus ride away, in another part of the city. hijacked was shown at Filament 14 in Magdalen Road Studios over a period of two weekends, giving aspiring young artists an early opportunity to show work in a public space.
Both artists and students rose to the occasion - and the scientific topics, which included The Apiary, Revelations of a Pocket Lens and Medicinal Herbs enabled artists, dancers, musicians and poets to highlight the continuing centrality of plants to the important and fundamental questions of how we conserve and provide for ourselves and sustain our planet.
Ayoush Lazikani. Alan Buckley, Mary Jean Chan, Claire Trevien, DanHolloway, Sarvat Hasin, Daisy Johnson, Michael Walsh,Phoebe Nicholson, April Pierce, Leo Mercer, Kira Milwood Hargrave ...
With thanks to:
Culture Fund, Oxford City Council
Filament 14, Magdalen Road Studios.
Magdalen College Oxfrord
Merton College, Oxford
County Insurance Services
Mr D Taylor, Creative Gardens
Sussex Artists' Club
Articles from an archive of Gardening Chronicles dating from the 1800's have been distributed by the the Botanic Garden Senior Curator to artists who have made new work in response, reflecting the changing research interests and environmental concerns of a scientific institution. Artists have worked with interior and exterior space throughout the gardens.
Marco Betti, Susie Canning, Clair Chinnery, Tom de Freston, Laura Degenhardt, Patricia Drew, Gabrielle Hoad, Kate Hammersley, Sally Howkins, Diane Jones-Parry, Elaine Le Corre, Jim Le Fevre, Martha Lewis, Mel: (Dominic Lash, David Stent, Chris Stubbs), Ruth Millar, Fiona Millward, Thomas Nicolaou, Karen Purple, Annabel Ralphs, Tom Ralphs-Laman, Emma Reynard, Prue Robinson, Felicity Shillingford, Christine Surridge, Nia Walling, Kate Willis,