Testing potential: Hedge Enquiry at Edible Eastside

I was one of a group of artists selected to join Hedge Enquiry test the potential of the Edible Eastside site: “a quarter of an acre of canal-side land, a former distribution depot, which we are converting into a ‘pop-up’ edible park using temporary containers and raised beds.”

concrete garden

The concrete garden starts to take shape

I’ve visited the site a couple of times before and been very excited by the concept of transforming the derelict brownfield site into an urban garden and shared community space. I’m yet more excited now to see the transformation starting to take place! The site has been cleared; beds raised; the tea urn plugged in; and chooks and cats installed.

With the first growing season about to gain momentum, Hedge Enquiry are investigating possibilities for the arts programme and had invited us lot in to have a good old poke around and imagine what might be.

Growing season

The first green shoots are starting to push through

I went along looking forward to an opportunity to spend some time with a space and allowing whatever revealed itself to trigger some creative propositions.

It was nice to have the chance to do this without agenda or expectations hanging over us. That said, I currently come pre-packaged with my own aims and objectives.

I’m still questioning what my practice looks like having absorbed the experiences of BARG and fizzPOP, wanting to make work that applies some of the thinking and skills I’ve gained through both of these. I very deliberately didn’t bring any tech with me though. This was time to be spent looking, sensing and working in my sketchbook.

I also had the Splacist manifesto in the back of my mind. Here are the bits that resonated for me today:

  • We will link and shift; across time, space, people, places and processes.
  • We will expose and re-see.
  • We will work on and across edges. We will push them. We will blur them.
  • We will reveal beautiful moments.
  • We will find our own energy sources.

Today I have been thinking about: revealing the unseen; biomass accumulation; solar power; canal power; secret gardens; weather stations; timekeeping; flows; encroachment; and flags. Lots of flags.