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Art amongst the alliums

Art among the alliums; Rachel Carter and Tom Hackett

Last Sunday 9 June I enjoyed the summer sunshine (remember that?) at the 21st Park Garden Trail, a biennial open garden event. A chance to explore the beauty of usually hidden aspects of Nottingham’s Park Estate.

The Park is worthy of a visit just for the architecture alone (you’ll find buildings by both T.C. Hine and Fothergill Watson). Then there’s the working gas lights (though best appreciated in the dark!), the incredible tunnel through to Derby Road (originally intended to be an entrance but built with a gradient too steep for carriages) I could go on but if you want to know more go to The Nottingham Park Estate website.

I love gardens (plus this garden trail also offers food, drink and music!) but the added attraction that drew me this year was an intriguing selection of art work curated by artist and Park resident Saira Lloyd.

Art amongst the alliums; Rachel Carter and Tom Hackett

Work by established regional artists Tom Hackett (“The Silicon Boys”, sited rather eerily on the lawns and amongst the shrubs) and Rachel Carter (wonderful woven spheres in willow and wire) sat well in the tiered garden of Iveston on Kenilworth Road. This was also where I couldn’t resist joining in with the family I overheard debating how many Fine Art students actually go on to make a living from their art (answers in the comments please?)











It was at the end of his performance that I discovered artists collective PRIMARY resident Frank Abbott in a live exploration with carrots!






The quirky collection by SITUATED second year Fine Art students from Nottingham Trent University was what made me stop, look and take stock. Definitely a departure from the tradition of deference to all things planted.

“Laminated Lawn”? Clare Valley

This was particularly true in Clare Valley (where I think I detected a sound piece) with the brave intrusion into the manicured grass beside the wonderful wisteria of what can only (in the absence of the artist’s advice) be described as “laminated lawn”. It made me smile and I observed puzzled and I think embarrassed visitors in equal measure. Only the resident black and white cat chose to saunter nonchalantly by to the shade of the aforementioned wisteria. Which leads to me to congratulate the owners of this and the other gardens for the divergence which I believe provoked some debate and Saira for presumably persuading them that it was a good idea? I hope to see more of this on the allotted sunny Sunday in 2015!


Diana is one of our team of bloggers. When not crouching in gardens (and elsewhere) for that jaunty angled image she can be emailed diana AT and followed on twitter @AnaidMPA