Habitat by Tania Kovats, City Road Basin. Image: Brian Whar
Secret Garden Project is a programme of temporary commissions and pop up art events by young and established artists that creates a trail of London's secret gardens, lesser known green spaces, and urban corners.
This varied programme of sculpture, performance, planting projects, artists' walks and literary works tapped into environmental themes creating new habitats for wildlife, revealing the parks' ecological characteristics, and bringing a touch of green to greyer sites around the capital.
The Secret Garden Project has evolved across different London Boroughs from May 2010 onwards, beginning with the London Borough of Islington and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
The project aims to:
- Bring high quality art projects and events to London's public realm
- Raise awareness of the ecological and cultural value of urban green space
- Encourage an understanding and engagement with ecology and biodiversity
- Create opportunities for community engagement and collaboration
- Encourage innovation
Some commissions draw on what UP Projects' calls contemporary heritage (combining local anecdotes, interest areas, with historical information and a cultural focus), where others respond to the physical context of the sites (the surrounding architecture, the ecology of the area, etc). Some projects offer an intervention that enhances the existing park or greenspace, and in so doing, emphasising the ecological and social benefits or qualities of these sites, where others transform spaces in the city that are far from green into a creative, artist's interpretation of what a garden can be.