Secret Garden Project

Mobile Picnic Pavilion by Francis Thorburn

29 May 2010 - 29 July 2010

The Mobile Picnic Pavilion visited a range of Islington's parks and open spaces throughout summer 2010

The Mobile Picnic Pavilion is a mobile vegetable garden that travelled around Islington's streets pulled by a merry band of performing gardeners, providing opportunities for passers-by to explore this portable green-space and even picnic upon it! 

Thorburn's garden vehicle draws on the principles of a sustainable lifestyle while adopting the sentiments of social sculpture and the potential for greenspaces as places for social exchange.  With his vegetable garden housed in an impressive greenhouse-inspired structure, he has developed a two-phase performative element for the viewer: an exciting encounter on the roadways as Thorburn and his performers navigate the human-powered garden vehicle through the streets; and a participatory experience as the vehicle 'parks' and folds out to become a picnic area for members of the public to eat their sandwiches on and engage with the artwork.

For information about where and when this innovative mobile vegetable patch was out and about see events.

Francis Thorburn is a practicing fine artist currently working with performance and sculpture. Under the title of Minister of Alternative Transport he has been developing a series of processional performances, which use sculptural devices (vehicles) to head the procession. With the movement of the audience from one place to another it takes on a celebratory air. The procession and its tone are a ridiculous construction and presents a futile journey. He wishes to fascinate and capture the audiences’ attention with the absurd, the extravagant, with ritualised action and the epic machines.

This art work is one of a series of Secret Garden Projects commissioned by Islington Council.