Boundary Way Project

I work as part of a collective of artists and plot-holders to devise and develop a programme of arts and heritage activities at Boundary Way Allotments and Community Garden in Warstones, Wolverhampton. I have secured a range of funding that has supported creative commissions and public activities that encourage connection with nature and increased understanding of heritage. I lead and manage these projects alongside the Boundary Way Allotment Committee and local, regional and national partner organisations. 

I have collaborated with a range of specialists to undertake research, develop education work and facilitate arts commissions and programming. 

Boundary Way Allotments Illustrated Map

The Boundary Way Project has received funding from Arts Council England, Arts Connect, National Lottery Heritage Grants, Grow Wild UK & the National Lottery Community Fund and Creative Black Country. 

For more information about the Boundary Way Project take a look at the Boundary Way Allotments and Community Garden Website. For the latest updates you can follow the Boundary Way Social Media from there and sign up for our seasonal newsletter via the website homepage.

Boundary Way Arts and Heritage Project 2016-18

Magnifying Mushrooms, May-September 2019 

Magnifying Mushrooms is a new creative project exploring the importance of and beauty of fungi. The Boundary Way Project will be working with artists, makers, scientists and plant experts to learn more about fungi species, interrelationships in nature and the Wood Wide Web. 

A programme of art and nature activities will include nature connection sessions with Maria Billington, fungi inspired folklore with Anne Marie Lagram as well as workshops in drawing, painting and textiles. 

The project is supported with funding awards from Grow Wild & the National Lottery Community Fund at Kew Gardens and an Open Access award from Creative Black Country. The project will be delivered in conjunction with community partners including West Park Primary School, Penn Fields Special School, Wolverhampton City of Sanctuary and the Wolverhampton branch of the Embroiderer’s Guild

The Beyondness of Bees, April-May 2019 

Boundary Way hosted this exhibition and workshop in April and May 2019. The project, inspired by honey bees was devised by artists Sue Brisco and Elise Stewart. Their idea focuses on microscopic examination of bees as inspiration for artwork in drawing and textiles. It goes beyond the familiar and explores first-hand a bee’s magnified hairy body vital for pollen grains to attach for pollination, or the ethereal translucent architectural details in the wing or the fascinating compound eye with hundreds of individual lenses. It also explores ultra-violet bee vision with light box drawings.  

The exhibition presented microscope observations and drawings of bee specimens made directly from the eye piece and demonstrates how these have been translated into stunning stitch piece embroideries.  

Sue and Elise received funding for this project through a Creative Black Country Open Access Award and developed it in collaboration with Wildside Activity Centre.

Let’s Talk about Fungi, February – September 2019 

I am supporting and hosting this project devised by Holly Pleydell and made possible with a youth award grant from Grow Wild UK and the National Lottery Community Fund. It combines research into fungi at Boundary Way with an artistic commission with artist Kanj Nicholas. Kanj will be creating new drawings and paintings inspired by fungi at Boundary Way. Following this, Holly will be collating facts about fungi, with photographs and Kanj’s artwork for a social media campaign that will raise awareness of the importance of fungi. The project will run in conjunction with the wider ‘Magnifying Mushrooms ‘ programme.

The Shed Camera Obscura  

Ann Walker created the Shed Camera Obscura at Boundary Way in 2015. I secured funding to develop a programme of education sessions, public open days and make a film about the project. 

The Camera Obscura situated at the highest point of the site offering views across the landscape. Ann’s concept differs from many Camera Obscuras as there is no viewing table, the image is projected all around the space. She wants visitors to feel a sense of wonder and magic as they step inside into the darkness and wait for the image to emerge. The shed provides a place to connect with the surrounding landscape at Boundary Way and remains in place today and is enjoyed by visitors of all ages. 

Ann Walker is an artist based in Wales. She has explored the concept of the Camera Obscura for many years including creating various portable and temporary structures. Find out more about her work here.

Plant research with Maria Billington  

Between 2016 and 2018 the Boundary Way project commissioned herbalist Maria Billington to study native plants through the seasons, carrying out sessions exploring nature connection and plant mapping activities with children from Penn Fields and Springdale schools. After completing an extensive survey she set about researching uses for every single plant that was found. She has shared her knowledge of creating tinctures and ointments and demonstrated new purposes for maligned weeds. Her sessions have included composing a foraged salad, primitive tooth-care, creating gardener’s hand cream with carrots and sampling an array of homemade herbal teas. 

She has also shared stories from plant folklore and led Hapa Zome sessions – dyeing fabric through a bashing process to release plant pigments. 


The Boundary Way film 2018

Between 2017 and 2018 artist and filmmaker Geoff Broadway spent time gathering stories from Boundary Way’s plot-holders and site users past and present to create a film that conveys the history of the Boundary Way site and what it means to those who use it. 

The Boundary Way film was part of the Boundary Way heritage project supported by funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund 2017-18. 


Portraits

A selection of portraits of Boundary Way plot-holders and other site users 2017-2018 

Creative Workshops at Boundary Way 

Here are a few examples of artist led workshops at Boundary Way since 2017, using found materials, responding to the landscape and discovering heritage. 

Sunprints with Laura Hickman May 2018

This workshop was an opportunity for visitors to discover cameraless photography and create their own prints using found natural objects from around the site. The process of sun printing dates back to the 1840s and combined with the power of sun, water and Laura’s guidance resulted in magical blueprint artwork.

Read this blog post on the Boundary Way website for more information.

Processions 100 – banner-making with Anne-Marie Lagram 

In May 2018, Anne Marie Lagram led a textile workshop to create a banner inspired by growing at Boundary Way. On the 10th  June 2018 this was included in a procession in Cardiff to mark 100 years since the Representation of the People Act, when the first group of women and some men gained the right to vote. It formed part of a vast public art project commissioned by the Artichoke Trust as part of the – 14-18 NOW Project, a commission of work by artists to mark 100 years since the First World War.  Anne Marie demonstrated a range of textile techniques to participants and found elements from the allotments were incorporated in the design. Anne Marie shared stories of women’s contribution to the land during wartime. 

Find out more in this blog post on the Boundary Way website.

Concertina sketchbooks with Clare Wassermann  

Clare Wassermann guided visitors through a fun and easy way nature inspired bookmaking session. Visitors were encouraged to find inspiration through a journey of close observation and easy art making. The day-long workshop was a great opportunity for participants to experiment with mindful sketching, mark making and gathering materials to capture the sense of place at the Allotments and Community Garden.

Read this blog post on the Boundary Way website for more information.

Toolmaking with Hannah Boyd 

Hannah Boyd provided the opportunity for participants to create handmade tools from natural materials, foraged for at the allotment and inspired by the Boundary Way landscape. The making session was followed by a chance to experiment with mark making techniques using the tools created with fantastic results.

For more information read this blog post on the Boundary Way website.

Exploring encaustic techniques with found natural objects with Rebecca Green 

Encaustic work is an art making technique that uses hot wax to create art by painting, dripping and layering. This session used natural material from the allotment and local area to create art using the encaustic techniques, encasing nature within the wax and creating experimental artwork. This artwork was displayed at the 2018 Sense of Place Exhibition.

Read this blog post on the Boundary Way website for more information.

Printmaking in the landscape with Linda Nevill June 2018 

Participants were guided by Linda Nevill to create hand printed lino prints inspired by the lush surroundings of the natural landscape at Boundary Way. Visitors were encouraged to explore the allotment to find inspiration and as well as traditional printing techniques, also printed from found objects such as feathers and plant materials found in the community garden. The resulting artwork was displayed at the 2018 Sense of Place Exhibition.

Read this blog post on the Boundary Way website for more information.

Sense of Place Exhibitions

2017

This exhibition took place at Boundary Way in October 2017, it was part of a public open weekend as well as a city wide artist open studio event. The weekend showcased the outcome of a research project and residencies funded by Arts Council England.

It included paintings by Hannah Boyd, Clare Wassermann and Kanj Nicholas, textiles by Sue Chand and storytelling with Ana Maria Lines. These artists spent time on site worked during the Summer and Autumn of 2017 taking inspiration from the landscape and taking part in a series of skill sharing workshops where each of them led a workshop inspired by the allotment. The group were joined by Lancashire based land artists Richard Shilling and Julia Brooklyn who undertook a residency at Boundary Way leading up to the open weekend.  

2018

The 2018  exhibition explored memories, nostalgia and meaning in relation to gardening, allotments and growing. It was the culmination of a large body of work and ideas that had developed over three years of heritage and artistic work including a showcase of work created in workshops. Participating artists included Clare Wassermann, Kanj Nicholas, Anne Marie Lagram, Jo Newman, Geoff Broadway, Laura Hickman, Hannah Boyd, Linda Nevill and Rebecca Green. Again the show was part of Wolverhampton Artists Open Studios event.

The exhibition was part of Season for Change, a UK-wide programme of cultural responses celebrating the environment and inspiring urgent action on climate change. Led by Artsadmin and Julie’s Bicycle

Land Art Residency  

In 2017 I set up a residency at Boundary Way with land artists Richard Shilling and Julia Brooklyn who spent a two week period working on site and leading group sessions. The aims behind this were to investigate how the natural resources on our site could be used creatively, to support artists, teachers and plot-holders in developing skills in working with weaving and threading techniques with found natural materials and to bring artists together to share skills and ideas.  Richard and Julia worked with school children of varying ages from early years to sixth formers and explored how found natural resources could be used to support learning and wellbeing. 

The residency was funded by Arts Council England as part of a Grants for the Arts Award for research and development. 

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