Secret Garden Project

Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven by London Fieldworks

19 July 2010 - 19 July 2013

Duncan Terrace Gardens, Islington N1 and
Cremone Gardens, Lots Road, Chelsea SW10

The Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven is a sculptural installation drawing on the ecology and biodiversity of two sites on opposite sides of London; Duncan Terrace in the East and Cremorne Gardens in the West.  London Fieldworks have developed a sculptural 'habitat' that will contribute to the lifecycle of birds, providing spaces for shelter, nesting or feeding.  The sculptures reflect the forms of the surrounding architecture; a combination of Georgian town houses, and 60's social housing around Duncan Terrace, and the World's End Estate adjacent to Cremorne.  The works also allude to the theme of the Victorian Pleasure Garden, which once provided entertainments for its visitors, such as promenade concerts and zoos or menageries.  The sculpture creates a Pleasure Garden for Birds, connecting to Cremorne Gardens' former history as one of London's popular Pleasure Gardens, and a much-favoured former Tea Garden (small version of a Pleasure Garden) in Islington, under a mile away from Duncan Terrace Gardens. 

The works will be in situ for a minimum of a year and the inhabitants of the Spontaneous City, which may range from birdlife to butterflies, insects and worms, will be documented through the changing seasons.

Writer in residence, Sarah Butler presented an event at Cremorne Gardens responding to the commission on Tuesday 27 July 2010.  See the events page for more information. Go to Sarah's blog to listen to a podcast in conversation with London Fieldworks.  Also see the workshsops section to see images of a workshop Sarah Butler held about London Fieldworks' installation in Islington with St. John Evangelist Primary School.

London Fieldworks is a London-based collective formed in 2000 by artists Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson as an umbrella organisation for creative research and collaboration at the art, science and technology intersection.  Typically, their projects engage with the notion of ecology as a complex inter-working of social, natural, and technological worlds.

The Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven has developed out of a recent London Fieldworks project called Super Kingdom, commissioned by Stour Valley Arts for Kings Wood in Kent.

The Spontaneous City in Duncan Terrace Gardens, Islington, is one of a series of Secret Garden Projects commissioned by Islington Council.

The counterpart in Cremorne Gardens, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea will launch as part of RBKC's InTRANSIT - a summer programme of interventions, performances and commissions which will animate streets, parks, neglected and forgotten spaces from 19 to 31 July 2010.