When she isn’t researching & discovering new folklore or creating her own artwork, Anne Marie spends her time running bespoke art & community workshops, providing business training, one-to-one mentoring and giving talks to groups. She really is a busy lady, but has still managed to find time to get fully involved in the work of the Boundary Way Project. At Boundary Way, Anne Marie has helped us to celebrate the seasons through art & folklore, bought banner making sessions for the centenary of the first votes for women to the Community Garden and provided stunning, site specific artwork for our exhibitions. Read on to find out more about how we have worked with Anne Marie at the allotment…
It all began on a chilly day in March, when Anne Marie ran the first of her workshops to celebrate and welcome the seasons. It was time to welcome Spring. During the session Anne Marie shared some of the unusual practices that gardeners have used over the years to provide the best chance for their plants to grow at the start of the season. She also invited participants to share sayings and ways that have been passed down through family generations.
Spring marks the beginning of the growing season and so during the celebration Anne Marie helped participants to make charms and set faery traps. We did this to create a safe haven for fey folk, so as to avoid problems later in the year and by making a springtime circlet we invoked the elements to ensure a prosperous gardening year ahead. The day ended with a couple of stories to celebrate the coming spring equinox, and was the perfect start to a wonderful growing season at Boundary Way.
As well as her amazing celebratory workshops, Anne Marie also ran several banner making workshops at Boundary Way, allowing us to take part in the Processions 100 project. It was such an exciting opportunity to make a banner celebrating the role of women who worked the scraps of land in and around Wolverhampton, who tended the fields and livestock and who worked in the factories to support the war effort. The chat and craft activity was an ideal way to not only consider and learn about the past women of Wolverhampton but to look to the status of women currently and what the future may hold for women in the city.
We explored several textile and mixed media techniques and incorporated found materials from the growing spaces of Boundary Way into our banner. The resulting creation was then taken by Anne Marie and processed in one of the Processions 100 Processions in Cardiff to mark the centenary of the first votes for women. It was great for Boundary Way and Wolverhampton to be represented at the parade and to be part of such an exciting project.
In June, Anne Marie returned to Boundary Way to run her next seasonal workshop, Celebrating Summertime, as part of successful and sunny Heritage Open Day. Again she shared stories about gardening and weather folklore, alongside sayings and superstitions associated with the summertime. Participants then worked as a group to create a sun wheel from recycled & found and scavenged natural materials from our site. Whilst the creating was happening there were quizzes, games and a dash of faerie mischief and magic. It was an all round great session and the resulting sun wheel was truly spectacular, brightening up the storytelling area for months to come.
In her most recent work with us at Boundary Way, Anne Marie created a hanging art mobile for our Sense of Place Art Exhibition 2018 as an art & folklore response to the site. The mobile, entitled ‘When the Blackberries are Spoilt’, was made up of found materials, foliage and bore the words ‘the love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies…’. It was the perfect interactive piece to welcome people to our exhibition and, alongside some beautiful prints, was the perfect contribution from Anne Marie.
We have loved working with Anne Marie and can’t wait to see what our partnership has in store for us in 2019, keep an eye on our Events Page to discover how you can get involved.