Parks + Art / Art in Parks :
An evolving collection of projects and events that I have gathered through research, friends, artists and other people and the interweb, mostly in the UK but internationally too. These are art projects / works that have been made for / in a park. I thought to organise the list around the park rather than the artist or project because the park is the ongoing environment and place, and the project comes to it somehow. And the list is alphabetical in general too. Please contact me if you know of other examples to add to the collection.
Bruno Roubicek: Man Digs Pond: 2011: Performed by Bruno Roubicek over 24 hours, 5th – 6th November 2011 in Albion Millennium Green with singing from visitors and friends. Friends of Albion Millennium Green.
Rosemary Lee – Melt Down: 2014: Part performance and part sculpture movement work as part of Coastal Currents Festival; quietly and gently, a large group of men gather in the park.
Battersea Arts Centre / Wandsworth Arts Festival – The Shimmy: annual arts event with some works being shown in Battersea Park, including:
Brockwell Park, Lambeth, London
Charlotte Spencer Projects – Walking Stories: 2015. An audio walk for parks that creates an immersive experience, a spontaneous walking dance for audience / participants. The work has toured to many parks, and here through Dance Umbrella.
Bruce Castle Park, Tottenham, London
Rosemary Lee & Simon Whitehead – The Calling Tree: 2016. Located in and around an ancient tree in the park, Calling Tree is a durational performance of song, movement and messages, presented as part of LIFT 2016.
Silvia Battista and Laura Burns – With Trees: 2015. A research project on the possibility of developing creative material from human engagement with non-human organisms. Over 4 months of 2015, the artists attended the big Plane tree of Brunswick Park on a weekly basis.
Burgess Park, Southwark, London
Anna Best – A Real Pony Race For A Bridle: 1997. A gymkhana, with 13 ponies and riders – an event inspired by a 19th century poster advertising a pony race in the park found in the South London Gallery’s archive and collection.
Rosemary Lee – Under the Vaulted Sky 2014: a large-scale outdoor promenade performance inspired by Milton Keynes’ Tree Cathedral which is based on the footprint of Norwich Cathedral, with a cast of 100 including professional and apprentice dancers, musicians and volunteers.
Metal – Chalkwell Hall in the park – the derelict Hall in the middle of the park was transformed into a low carbon space for artists-in-residence, events and conversation, and is now a well-used, housing upwards of 20 international and UK artists-in-residence each year who live-in for short periods of time.
Grunts for the Arts – Sports Day: 2007: The collective arose in response to the decision to redirect lottery money from Arts Council England to fund the 2012 Olympics. Their logic was simple: if money was taken away from the arts to fund sport, then artists would have to retrain as sports people. The sports events were also held at Burgess Park, Southwark and Butterfield Green, Stoke Newington.
Hengrove Park Nature Reserve, Bristol
Jo Hellier – Festival of Ancients: 2016: A fete set in the future celebrating the past imagining how people might commemorate our era through a surreal folk festival.
Park Hack – TreexOffice: 2015: a temporary co-working space in the canopy of a tree with Wifi. Created by artist Natalie Jeremijenko in collaboration with artists Shuster + Moseley, TreexOffice is a Park Hack project as part of Rethinking Parks.
Home Live Art: Harvest It!: 2007: a major participatory event and programme, involving artists working with city farms, allotment organisations, schools, choirs and other local groups, with collective artworks and performances.
Also Light It!: 2006: a festival of light – a spectacular promenade event – using light as a magical, transformative and spiritual force, cross-referencing Diwali, Halloween, Eid Al Fitr, Guy Fawkes, Day of the Dead and Channukah.
Newtown, The Park, Powys, Wales
Antonia Dewhurst – Tŷ Unnos / ‘One Night home’. Commissioned by Oriel Davis Gallery, Antonia’s residency produced a piece of vernacular architecture, built in 24 hours in the Newtown parkland adjacent to the gallery. Read a review here.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has included artworks as part of its architecture and landscape. Arts and culture projects involving local communities continue as the Park evolves, including poetry performances, a mobile artist studio, free workshops and talks, festivals and further commissions.
Helen Stratford: Perimeter Perambulations: 2015. Part walk / survey / conversation, Helen leads a tour of the park exploring boundaries between natural and artificial spaces, exotic and native species in the context of masterplan proposals for the town; part of Loughborough University’s RADAR.
Riverpool Linear Park, Lewisham, London (and 3 other parks)
Lucy Cash – Like a Bird: 2011: A large-scale, sculptural installation – a staircase for a tree – with an accompanying soundscape, originally commissioned for the Avenue of Trees in the park as part of the Wandsworth Arts Festival.
Mem Morrison – Underscore: 2012: created especially for Wandsworth Park’s 300m avenue of trees, Mem Morrison’s Underscore is a sonic journey through the Thames – from Richmond Pier through to the Thames Gateway.
Ella Good & Nicki Kent – A Decade with Mars – Williamson Park Launch: 2015: A ten year project about time, sustainability and community from 2014 to 2024. In 2015, Ella and Nicki launched the project with the help of community groups and primary schools around the UK, with a series of weather balloon launches to try and film near space with one of the launches in Williamson Park. A Decade with Mars.
InBetween Time – Up To Nature: 2012: 14 artists from the UK and Europe presented bespoke new work to entice audiences to leave the city and enter the world of the forest.
Somerset Art Works – Water-Meadow-Wood: 2015-18: Three artists will work with participants to co-create artworks linked to the themes, exploring the natural and social history of the place, for seasonal exhibitions to be held in the park / visitor centre.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park is an open-air gallery in Yorkshire, England, showing work by British and international artists, including Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. It was the UK’s first sculpture park based on the temporary open air exhibitions organised in London parks from 1940s-70s, with a changing exhibition programme.
For art and parks projects beyond the UK, please click through.