Exhibition: Blooming Britain: Gardening in the Margins, RHS Wisley, Woking, June 6-30 2011
Amateur gardening is a frenzied field, enticing competitors as colourful as their beloved blooms.
In a show bringing surrealism to the serene at four Royal Horticultural Gardens this summer, artist Julie Henry and photographer Debbie Bragg decided to turn the spotlight on the sprouters, turning them into tiny figurines against a backdrop of lawns, overturned toy dogs and kaleidoscopic flowers.
Lovers of people who “achieve extraordinary things in small, unseen ways”, the pair aim to capture a truer, more humble beauty in a world of commerce and celebrity.
“We found that despite personal economics or the space available, people still look for a way to find an aesthetic,” they report of their quest.
Their works have a technicolour quality, visiting post-industrial, urban and suburban regions and augmented the results with sound.
"We found a large variety of motivations ranging from the personally therapeutic to active community engagement, from creative display to conspicuous consumption,” they surmise.
“The term garden can apply to anything, from balconies and windowsills to alleyways and tower blocks.”
- RHS Garden Wisley, Woking, Surrey. Open 10am-6pm (9am-6pm Saturday and Sunday). Admission £9.90/£3.50 (free for under-6s).
Continues to RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Chelmsford, July 7-31 (open 10am-6pm, admission £7/£2.50); RHS Garden Rosemoor, Great Torrington (open 10am-6pm, admission £7.50/£2.50, free for under-6s); RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Harrogate, September 7-30 (open 9.30am-6pm, admission £7.50/£3, free for under-6s).