Feral Practice – Garden to Garden
13th July - 30th September 2020
A time to be alive to the vulnerability – and vitality – of the natural world
In partnership with Scarborough’s Victorian-era South Cliff Gardens, ‘Garden to Garden‘, explored the changing ways we see, hear and experience nature; all through the lens of bees. Through a guide to insect exploring for young people and families, a special image competition for young insect explorers, and a final film celebrating our bees, ‘Garden to Garden’ brings us into creative dialogue with the insects and nature that we coexist with – and depend on.
Looking at Bees – Feral Practice
“It is a time of shared vulnerability. We are under threat from Coronavirus, and bees are under threat from many things; habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change- and that sense of our own vulnerability has I think opened us up to a greater sense of connection to, and empathy for, other species; we’re realising our interdependence’ – Feral Practice
‘Looking at Bees’ is a ‘Garden to Garden’ co-commission by Invisible Dust and South Cliff Gardens – an original short documentary film by the artist Feral Practice which explores and celebrates the bees and communities that have roamed Scarborough’s sea facing cliffs since time began.
This film – and the wider ‘Garden to Garden’ programme – is celebration of, and cry for, our incredible but vulnerable natural world, at a time when we ourselves feel so under threat from the global health crisis. It seeks to inspire people to cherish and nurture our green spaces, and the teeming life they hold; both for our wellbeing today but the health and of future generations.
Artist Commentary Film
‘Garden to Garden’ artist Feral Practice talks through the process of creating the engagement resources and final film commission ‘Looking at Bees’.
‘In garden to garden we’ve been journeying on a different scale; we’ve been using macro and microscopic video and audio technology to open up what are normally inaccessible sounds and views of the world to us’ – Feral Practice
Led by visual artist Feral Practice with the support of sound artist Rob Mackay, in collaboration with a range of scientists and researchers from across the UK, this digital programme connected a global digital network of people exploring their own green spaces to South Cliff Gardens; a beautiful expanse of sea-facing public gardens in Scarborough which began development in the mid 19th Century. Managed by Scarborough Borough Council, the gardens are currently being restored with the help of National Lottery Heritage Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund.
In these unusual times, as many of us are forced to slow down and stay home, we gain an opportunity to see deeper into our home worlds. A garden, window box or our local public green space, offers the perfect setting for some creative exploration that delves deep into the natural world that surrounds us.
‘Garden to Garden’ has launched an artist-created insect adventure ‘Ento-Sleuthing’ for young people and families to help inspire a new generation of nature explorers across Scarborough and worldwide. Download now!
This activity inspires us to learn from the Victorians with an Insect and flower Identification guide and to go on Micro-Cosmic Journeys and ‘Ento-Sleuthing’ with hand held microscopes and more!
We’d love to see any photos, videos or sketches gathered from your time exploring insects in your local green spaces. We’re running a competition for 8-18 year olds to inspire you to get out there and start looking, and to ensure your work is shared and celebrated widely!
Judged by a panel of artists, scientists and wildlife experts we’ll be giving away a special clip-on microscope to 5 favourite images. Deadline for entries is the 18th September 2020. Go to the competition page for more info and how to apply.
Tell us what you think!
We’d love to hear if you enjoyed exploring your garden and taking part in this activity. If you could spare us two minutes we’d love it if you could fill out this simple evaluation form. It helps us to constantly evaluate and improve the way we work, and the way we help bring about change. Thank you!
New film work:
Due to be released in September 2020, a new HD short film will examine our current moment through the hand lens of botany and with the focusing lens of history. Created by Feral Practice with sound in collaboration with Rob Mackay, this film will reveal the diverse and fascinating lifeworlds of social, bumble and solitary bees and other pollinators visiting our gardens. It will discuss the existential threats to insects in the context of our current human experience of Covid 19 and related enviro-social challenges. The visuals will bring together film and field recordings of bees and pollinators with archival footage from South Cliff Gardens, interviews with scientists and research partners and conversations with a range of Scarborough residents and user groups.
‘Garden to Garden‘ is commissioned by Invisible Dust in partnership with the South Cliff Gardens National Lottery Heritage Fund Team, Scarborough Borough Council, with the support of the Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England.
Research for ‘Garden to Garden’ is informed by scientists at Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity at University of York, Yorkshire Naturalists Union, Scarborough Field Naturalists Society,and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.