Walled Gardens of Cannington host part of Somerset Art Weeks Festival

The Walled Gardens of Cannington will host part of the ‘Abundance’ Garden Trail for the Somerset Art Weeks Festival, from Saturday 21 September to Sunday 6 October.


The Art Weeks feature contemporary arts that celebrate the wealth of cultivated gardens in Somerset. The Walled Gardens of Cannington are among a number of local gardens to participate in the ‘Abundance’ Garden Trail and will feature new works from both emerging and mid-career artists. The artists will use different materials to create pieces that represent ‘abundance’ in a social, cultural, political and historical context.


Gloucester-based artist Alison Cockcroft and Somerset artist Kitty Hillier will be exhibiting their work, exploring the idea of the Walled Garden, as a physical space. The artists hope to use the Walled Gardens to create a frame, so that visitors will find themselves actually inside the piece as they explore the artworks, for which materials such as wood, canvas, sand and paint will be used.


Kitty said, “There are three main elements to my work for The Walled Gardens; canvas, sand and carved and scorched oak forms. They will all be positioned together and a group of wire and paper pieces will be suspended, yet still connected to the other materials, so the work can be viewed as one piece, like a painting that’s been pulled out of the canvas.


“My inspiration came after visiting the Walled Gardens, where I was drawn to the botanical glasshouse and transfixed by the abundance of cacti and succulent plants growing. I was found myself wondering what was inside the plants and had a huge urge to touch them, even though I knew I shouldn’t. When I got home I researched the Gardens online and came across a report that suggested there were hidden tunnels underneath the garden; this solidified my interest in what is ‘hidden under the surface’.


“My vision for this piece is that the viewer should be able to interact with it by moving all the way around it and deciding which viewpoint they like best. I want the visitors to touch, lean, sit or lie down on the structure.”


The Walled Gardens will be open with their usual entry fees during the Art Weeks, and hope the exhibits will encourage new visitors to the Gardens to enjoy their splendour.

Kitty Hillier Maquettes