Margate NOW & the Sunken Garden Society are joining forces to commission innovative, functional and sustainable public artworks for the Sunken Garden, a unique biodiverse outdoor space in Westbrook.
The Sunken Garden is the focal point of this year’s Margate NOW, an annual festival producing arts and culture for communities across Margate. This year is more important than ever to promote community action through our event as we bring people out from isolation. The sculptures will act as an invitation for our community to reflect and meditate on the past year. Nature-inspired, whimsical and fantastical, the artworks will help make our miniature Eden an even more enjoyable place to meet, meditate, socialise and play. We are working with outstanding artists – Nicolas Deshayes, Lindsey Mendick and Olu Ogunnaike – to design and create a gate for the Hermit’s Cave, a compost bin and a bench. So as well as being functional, the designs will grow out of our aspiration to bring people together again – combatting loneliness and celebrating the mental health benefits of time outside in nature.
What we’ll deliver:
- Creation of a storage facility in the Hermit’s Cave, which will be closed by a gate designed by Nicolas Deshayes
- A compost bin for the Sunken Garden, imagined by Lindsey Mendick
- New, bespoke seating created by Olu Ogunnaike
- A logo and signage for the Sunken Garden Society, designed by Molly Pickle
- A noticeboard and a website for Sunken Garden for visitors and users to keep up to date with news
Why it’s a great idea:
The Sunken Garden Society was formed to bring love and life back to the Sunken Garden, which had become abandoned and overgrown. The group of dedicated volunteers has been restoring this free outdoor space to make it more beautiful and welcoming not just to visitors, but also to bumblebees and wildlife. We’re keen to welcome and train more volunteers as part of this sculpture garden project. This collaboration between two local organisations dedicated to nurturing creativity and nature provides a unique opportunity for the garden to be better equipped, to integrate art into its ecosystem and create new forms of interaction with visitors and users of the Garden. It further offers the artists a rare opportunity to bring function into their work and a unique permanent public setting for it to exist in. Key to the project is the creation of a sustainable and considerate dialogue between art and nature, and the continued provision of a welcoming and soothing refuge for everyone.