Through these blogs we are trying to make the organization and our way of working more accessible.
Please contribute ideas, information and criticism.
Jeremy Deller and I have been here for 5 days now installing our project for the Sao Paulo Bienal - a film by Jeremy about the wrestler Adrian Street, a mural of the same by local artists, a Mechanics Institute, an education programme, a school trip and a few other things rolled into one.
Yesterday a helpful soul graffiti'd our honesty stall: "IT'S NOT ON THAT YOU LEAVE SCRAP METAL AND CARPET IN THIS LOVELY PLACE! TAKE NOTE".
Thank you for that. We are very sorry for any offence that this may have caused. What were we thinking, leaving such unnatural materials in this haven of purity? (Though I think carpet is Royal Coniston brand, so quite local.) We shall henceforth endeavour keep this idyl free of clutter and signs of non-wilderness; but where to start? Tractors, cars, spades, straight bits of wood, disposable barbecues, tourists, fudge, brightly coloured clothing, spruce forests, quarrying, honesty stalls, graffitti.....actually better take the washing in just in case.
The school visit from a group of Portuguese speaking kids from the Lilian Bayliss school in Lambeth was great fun. Jeremy Deller came and did some drawing with them as these will be shown alongside his new film at the Sao Paulo Biennial.
We bought a couple of weaners a few weeks ago, two very cute 2 month old British Lop pigs. Although they look like standard, everyday pigs they are the rarest of the six British rare breeds, but still very edible. One is for fattening up and one we will keep for breeding. Before they go their separate ways, they are loving their lush lodgings.
Our boys Juneau Projects have put our Eastside Projects (Birmingham) Decent Proposal The Musical online here for you audio fans. Karen's microphone's a bit indistinct but it's all good fun. Also features Bedwyr Williams....
Alistair did a nice new site map for the NGS day, featuring a sketch of the "Future Orchard" at the top of our Wildflower Meadow. This is currently just a mown stock-fenced paddock with 24 blobs of mulch set at regular intervals where this coming winter we will plant some very young fruit 'maidens' (as young grafted apple plants are known).
As with all good childcare we'll then ignore them for the best part of a decade - before (we hope) realising they have turned out rather well and enjoying the fruits of our labours. For now - like all fanatical gardeners I am already working on next year - I am sourcing the 24 trees, 6 of the most altitude, wind and rain-proof varieties from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
So far I have:
'Scotch Bridget' - a locally grafted specimen, she does well in Cumbria I am told
'Gravenstein', 'Brownlees Russet', 'Duke of Devonshire' (Bred at nearby Holker), 'Mere de Menage', 'Monarch', 'Keswick Codlin' and 'Hawthornden' - from the lovely R V Roger Northern fruit specialists
From Irish Seed Savers I'll be ordering 'Yellow Pitcher', 'April Queen', 'Cavan Sugar Cane', 'Kemp' and 'Keegan's Crab' which apparently isn't a crab.
Finally, Wales will be represented by 'Cissy', 'Bardsey', 'St Cecilia', 'Pig Aderyn', 'Croen Mochyn' and a 'Snowdon Queen' pear - yes a pear, found at 1000' on the slopes of Snowdon!
As the nice man at supplier Gwynfor Growers says "that should love Coniston!'
...the garden looks like this
....who braved the rain for the third NGS Open Garden here at Lawson Park - numbers were up on last year! One lady fell in the stream en route but was very decent about it, and one chap told me that Lawson Park used to be a dairy 'farm' (something about being bordered by 2 streams...), which was the first I'd heard of it.....
Thanks also to all family, friends and staff who helped out.
Pablo Bronstein's chicken coop column enjoyed a day up for the NGS Open Garden...
We ran a Craft Salon to run alongside the Coniston Arts and Crafts Annual Exhibition held in the village hall. The salon took place in the library where we tucked away the unsightly book carousels and Romance novels and displayed instead bits of pottery, glass, metal work and books from our collection and library. We had artists, craft people, and historians talking and showing. Charlie Whinney and his demonstration of how to steam-bend wood got the biggest round of applause though Adam's history of the Arts and Crafts Movement demonstrated by the throwing of pots came a very close second.
We have been busy over the last couple of weeks with a group of German Architecture students and tutors who stayed at Lawson Park and Low Parkamoor and thought about issues of land use, commons law and access rules while helping tidy our messy wood pile. The left and another group of Extra Special People from Birmingham's Eastside Projects arrived. The weekend consisted of hard toil in the fields for some, and for the others, a social couple of days at the Craft Salon at The Mechanics Institute where we organised lectures and demonstrations in the library as part of the Coniston Arts and Crafts Society Annual Exhibition.
Long time Grizedale collaborator Peter Hodgson now has his own online shop. Do pay it a visit for finely crafted luxury goods in leather, horn, wood, ceramic and a variety of pet food supplies.
Parkamoor has a busy summer ahead, just had an 83 year old lady staying for a week, the party spotted 51 species of birds in the immediate area, the top moments being Hawfinches, Redstarts, Ravens and the double whammy of a Peregrine Falcon taking a Wood Warbler right in front of them.
Next week there are 7 German architects of unknown gender
Followed by a group of 5 ESP artists from Birmingham - (Extra Sensory People)
and so on
The silence of the World cup. not a mountain biker, a lakeside screamer, a barking dog
Charlie Whinney, Peter Martin, Naomi Kashiwagi, Dorian Moore, Glen Boulter, Liz Rowe,Chris Poolman, Rebbecca Bibby.
And an on the day publication on what Craft means to you with Harry Blackett and Robin Kirkham
Our deepest sympathies go out to all those affected by this devastating event.
We had to look up how to trench celery in the classic 'The Vegetable Garden Displayed"....
A quick plug for What will the harvest be?, which is a gorgeous public garden in East London that I designed with Nina Pope and it's now in its second season as a communal 'harvest garden'. A horticultural and social experiment, it allows anyone to come and grow and harvest food and flowers for free and is open dawn to dusk.
We open the garden for London Open Squares
weekend on June 12/13th, 10-5pm both
days, teas etc are available and we will be giving guided tours all
day long, so do please come along.
The address is Baker's Row, London E15 3NF a- a 10 minute walk from West Ham or Stratford train / tubes.
I'm very proud of this project as I've been able to apply so many of the lessons I learnt up here at Lawson Park, and we have even succeeded in growing the rare blue Himalayan poppy there, from seeds harvested from my plants up here.
website design & build by theusefularts.org.