Jane Ansell & David Paton
Trewidden Garden near Penzance in Cornwall was the location for a residency by artists Jane Ansell and David Paton which took place between 14 February 2007 and 31 October 2008. Jane and David in association with RANE, have now published a small book covering the ideas and work carried out during the residency.
TEND takes the position that no piece of landscape is isolated; that although the garden is a defined space with a specific role to play in the current economics of the Cornish landscape its boundary is continually being crossed. It is part of a network navigated by people and flora and fauna from across the world. In telling the story of how, why and what has emerged during their time at Trewidden, they hope that the book will encourage others to explore the landscape and places close to home. TEND is about taking a slower approach to knowing a place, allowing time for the multiplicitous events embedded within it to materialise.
As artists, Jane and David came to Trewidden with a limited knowledge of its identity as a Cornish Spring Garden. They wanted to find out about how Trewidden was used as a public garden, who visited and why.
“We wanted to understand how the garden fitted into the wider environment. What was its place in the landscape? We set out to do this by physically spending time there. By making art in various parts of the garden we were connecting with the place, temporarily changing spaces and becoming a part of it, a way of taking a slower and closer look. We sought after the unnoticed, we strayed off the paths in the hope of finding the unexpected. Advice offered at the start of the project suggested that Trewidden is a garden to look up at, to view the Magnolia flowers that appear almost to float above the tree tops. This is true, but invading weeds, the carpets of mosses and pine needles, fallen leaves, petals and tropical fungi also captured our attention and surely deserve equal significance. The torrential rain that fell during the summer of 2008 affected us and the garden in different ways; the garden risked a potential fall in visitors, difficult working conditions and damage to plants. Yet for us the unpredictable weather presented different light qualities and atmospheres inspiring works such as a series of rain soaked ‘poly-tunnel’ photographs and the hydrometer sculpture.”
For both Jane and David, TEND has become a way of working, a way of gaining an insight and knowledge about a location, finding ways to make those connections and relations. TEND is now an ongoing project which is extending outward from Trewidden to other sites.