Eden Unearthed

Curator Meredith Kirton guides us through Eden Gardens fantastic outdoor exhibition and workshop program, Eden Unearthed. It is a jam packed program of events, where the whole family can play, make and enjoy. 

Meredith, can you please tell us about your role at Eden Gardens and what you have planned for Sydney Craft Week.
I curate an exhibition of installation art called Eden Unearthed, which is outside at Eden Gardens Macquarie Park.  I thought this would be a great way of creating some engagement with our exhibition audience, and also create some interest with crafters and artists more extensively who might want to see how art has been used in our wonderful gardens.

What can audiences expect from your event Eden Unearthed?
I would expect audiences to be challenged to think more deeply about their environment.  Issues like climate change, waste and recycling, water usage and our habitat are raised through evocative works, made all the more relevant by their placement in the landscape here. For example, one work, by emerging artist Elizabeth West, called Rapid shows woven plastic cascading down our creek, and another, the inaugural winner, shows discarded fluorescent tubes in a serpentine through the garden.  Created by Jan Cleveringa, its title The Corporate Snake, is the beginning of an important conversation about company’s responsibilities to the waste products.

Glenn Barkley ceramics. Photo by Leeroy T

Can you tell us more about the workshops you have planned for Kids and Adults?
I have a kids family art day planned, with activities for free and also some low cost book in sessions, on Sunday 13 October.  We also have some of our artists running sessions including boat making for kids, paper clay modelling (for all ages) and crochet and woollen crafts with Alison Thompson.  Her work The Magic of the Garden is in the children’s play area and feature giant toadstools, spiders webs, buzzing bees and so on…all crafted cleverly into the landscape.  Alison will be running a children’s workshop on Friday 11 October and an Adults workshop on Sunday afternoon on the 13th October and you can add to her installation with your own crafted critters.  We also have weaving and dyeing workshops for adults.

Play is the theme for Sydney Craft Week this year, can you share with us what play means to you?
I love to play.  I turn 50 this year, but still enjoy playing mud pies in the garden with kids, and really encouraging children into the garden be it through art and craft classes, or tasting tours…anything that engages all their senses.    

As Eden Gardens is a nursery, are you running any events that work with plant based materials or utilise the garden space?
On Saturday 12 October we will also be working with artists Leanne Thompson,  weaving some of our garden into her work Unravelled and Interwoven.  Alison’s crocheted critters are all inspired from the garden and installed in the garden.  Our wonderful Natural Dyeing adult workshop on Sunday 20 October with Haruka Kokubu uses leaves and natural mordents from the garden to create bespoke gardenesque silk pieces using the Itazome method… finding and foraging for materials and then creating a handmade item of such beauty if complete alchemy.

For more information about Eden Unearthed visit Eden Gardens Sydney Craft Week event page.

Images: Alison Thompson, Butterfly. Photo courtesy Eden Gardens; Chloe Alice, Capitalist Bloom. Photo Brian Rapsey; Jan Cleveringa, The Corporate Snake. Photo courtesy of the artist