Last Saturday, the allotment polytunnel was transformed into an exciting exhibition space for our latest art exhibition, ‘Sense of Place’. As part of the annual Wolverhampton Open Studios event, our art and archive exhibition explored memories, nostalgia and meaning in relation to gardening and allotments and was a huge hit with all of our visitors, both old and new. We can’t wait to share all the details of the day with you in this very special post celebrating our successful day…
Once the set-up had been completed, we welcomed many visitors to the allotment to view and enjoy our wonderful array of artwork. The work was by 15 different local artists and ranged from etching and painting, to encaustic wax work and collage – there really was something for everyone. It was lovely to be able to display the work on site, nestled amongst the plants in the environment that inspired them. Since we opened our doors to working with artists, we are delighted that the allotment has become a key source of inspiration for many local artists – several of which often come and sketch amongst the plots.
As well as celebrating the allotments, the artwork also reflected the artist’s own gardening memories and what gardening means to them. To compliment this several artists, including Moya Lloyd and Clare Wassermann, brought along photographs from their own family archives to help share their growing memories. It was brilliant to be able to have these on display next to our growing collection of archive photographs of the allotments and our portraits of current plot holders by Geoff Broadway. We hope to continue working to create an exciting and versatile archive of imagery and stories that represent the true Boundary Way and are excited to see where this work will lead.
As well as being part of Wolverhampton Open Studios, our event was also part of the national ‘Season for Change’ programme. This is a programme of events created by charity Julie’s Bicycle and Artsadmin to celebrate the environment through culture and inspire urgent action on climate change. It was so great to be part of a national movement of events helping to raise awareness and connect us to make change.
Following our successful afternoon opening, we continued to light our day into the evening for a magical autumn showing of the exhibition and Boundary Way film. It was lovely to see the artwork illuminated by fairy lights and lanterns, and the whole atmosphere was one of cosy, celebration.
One of the highlights of the evening was being able show our Boundary Way film in a local community exhibition van, which we parked up in the Community Garden. It was such an individual and fun way for our visitors to experience the film showing and made for a special way to share the heritage of our site with the evening visitors to the exhibition. If you haven’t yet seen our film, which maps the story of Boundary Way Allotments from when the gates were first opened in 1953 to the present day, then you can visit our Video Library to watch it by clicking here.
Thank you to all of the artists who took part in our Sense Of Place exhibition on Saturday as part of Wolverhampton Open Studios and to everyone who visited us. It was wonderful to see all the nature and allotment inspired work brought together in the Polytunnel and the wind, rain and darkness was no obstacle! Did you miss us on Saturday? Our next event is a performance by the Regional Voice Theatre called Winter Tales on 3rd November. We’d love to see you there, you can find out more information about how to get involved on our Facebook Event or website Events page.