Walkden Gardens

Curating and managing a series of interventions including Artist in residency for 12 months creating temporary artworks in the gardens.

Newton & Helen Harrison – International Friends Visit

“Out of Suburbia”

Students from the MA Art In Environment Course and UMIST Engineering carried out a co-collaboration project based in the Garden from September 04 – July 2005.

Alice Betts residency

Alice created a series of temporary works, events and participation projects as part of her residency.

Alice in Walkden took place in July 2006 over five days; four workshop days to create installations, and a play, costumes and performance with local young people, families and adults with learning difficulties. Artist Sarah Males

Alice researched the perceptions and experiences of other users of the garden regarding the space through inviting them to draw from their minds eye view of part, or all of the gardens, or a route they had taken. She compiled a ‘book’ of maps and words gleaned from conversations with people in the gardens. She asked members of the public to describe to her their experience of Walkden Gardens, and if they where willing to draw.

Red Lines

Red Lines were installations of red fabric, stitched to leaves, which trace the outline of existing features. Some were obvious and deliberate like the entrance into the Field of Hope; others drew attention to the accidental, holes in hedges or the silhouette of trees in the distance. There were three or more of these works.

Mapping signs

Two dimensional works on board developed from drawings made in the gardens.

These illustrated a process of exploring and studying spaces; mapping out the gardens, not overall, but the minutiae of shapes at ground level; worn out grass, hard edges, soft edges, the position of trees, changes in surface. These pieces were positioned in the gardens (each in the space it describes) like sign posts or information points.

Between the Trees

Using the red fabric to draw lines spanning distances between the trees, these pieces explored the visual effects of distance and the spatial relationship between the trees; playing with perspective and creating simple, geometric shapes within a detailed and picturesque vista.

This work took place in the Beech circle and in the Cherry tree avenue area. These changed and were added to during the course of the residency.

Pathways – waterways

For the final installation and event at the Gardens a pathway, as part of the network of grassed pathways, was converted into very shallow channels of water. Simultaneously blocking the routes and highlighting them, this was to draw attention to the routes through the gardens and the shapes at ground level that form its organised layout; provoking a new or different view of the space. The work had a huge impact aesthetically and completely transformed (an area of) the gardens for its duration.

Activities to make floating sculptures with the community were carried out to contribute to the waterway, which created a sense of humour and fun, giving the artwork a broad appeal. The workshop was delivered by artist Sarah Males so create a cross over between the two projects.

Project Information

Client: Friends of Walkden Gardens, Trafford MBC

Location: Trafford

Date: 2006