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The latest news from our community art project

The Gardeners’ House renovation includes a community art project led by artists Jane Darke and Andrew Tebbs, working with the community to create designs inspired by illustrations and objects from the archive.


Local craftspeople will then be commissioned to recreate these designs in stone, metal and wood that will feature in the Sensory Garden.

In recent months, Jane and Andrew have undertaken 20 workshops - working with St Mary’s School, Bolitho Nursery, Bolitho Care Home, Pengarth Daycare Centre and Richmond House.

They will also be running a session in their bell tent at the Penzance Community Day event on Monday 27 May in Morrab Gardens. 

Over the coming months, Jane and Andrew will run approximately six more workshops in the community.

The work with Richmond House included making drawings of plants and seaweeds, from life and the Hypatia Trust archive, using mosaics, making ceramic tiles and glazing them, making cast tiles in coloured concrete and lino cut printing.

At St Mary’s School, Jane and Andrew helped the children to make contact prints using leaves, and made leaves and tiles using clay. At Pengarth Day Centre with the older residents, the sessions concentrated on collage work.

We have received some profound and meaningful feedback from some of those people taking part in the workshops - particularly those at Richmond House - some of whom are rediscovering a love of art and considering pursuing that interest at college.


Jane Darke said: "We have produced artworks that we will be able to use for inspiration for the garden design, and for an exhibition of participants work in the new building."

Miki Ashton, Project Coordinator for The Gardeners’ House said: “The sensory garden art project plays such an important role in tying the whole Gardeners’ House project and our objectives together.

She added: “It will be a wonderful inclusive space with these collaborative artworks creating a welcoming gateway by telling its story and sparking the curiosity of users and visitors to what they might find inside the building itself. The designs will be imagined and brought to life by the very community that will be using the spaces, making the Gardeners' House feel truly their own from day one”.

In addition to the workshops, Jane and Andrew are also in conversations with a number of local artists and makers who can help recreate these designs in other materials for display in our sensory garden.

They are also working with the Sensory Trust to come up with designs for the entrance wall.

Following the Community Day in Morrab Gardens on 27 May, Jane and Andrew will firm up artwork designs for the sensory garden and collate all the design ideas.

They'll present these to our Board of Trustees this summer and we will agree how they will weave into the plans for our Sensory Gardens and plan the way forward.

Connecting people, planet and place, the renovated building will become an important centre for the community, helping to improve mental and physical wellbeing. The renovated building will become a home to wellbeing workshops, green community projects and a sensory garden.

The Gardeners’ House, a charity based in Penzance, received £2.2 million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, as well as a grant of £896,000 from the Penzance Town Deal fund to help realise their vision.


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