The Wonder Project, launching today 26 July, is a multi sensory after-hours art trail that explores the wild landscape of Wakehurst, Kew’s sister garden in West Sussex.
Audiences can meander through Wakehurst’s woods, meadows and glades to encounter specially commissioned soundscapes, sculptures and artworks interwoven and embedded in the landscape.
Soundscape, Sculpture, Scenery: The Wonder Project at Wakehurst
Wakehurst’s 500-acre collection of plants, wildflower meadows and woodlands inspired participating artists such as British-Ghanaian artist in residence at Somerset House Studios, Larry Achiampong. Manipulating one of the garden’s wildflower meadows, Achiampong integrated a site-specific work featuring four text-based, Afro-futurist sculptural elements.
Further on along the trail, the sound of Hidden Orchestra’s sonic woodland will reach the ears of visitors. This soundscape within one of Wakehurst’s woodland glades is the work of Brighton-based artist Joe Acheson and sound designer Tim Southorn. The artists have built a multi-channel sound sound system to produce hypnotic, interacting sounds that emanate from the trees and earth. The installation represents the underground network of fungi that connects trees and allows them to communicate (little known fact!).
‘Much of Kew’s research is about helping humanity stay away from the brink of ecological collapse, one wonders if this is possible? There is research with indigenous groups; the search for wild relatives to safeguard tired, domesticated crop species; the banking of billions of seeds. A dynamic, omnibuzzing ecosystem of seeds, trees, fungi, birds, insects, scientists, horticulturalists, and wanderers; Wakehurst is rife with organisms wondering. We are looking forward to audiences participating in these stories, allowing themselves to be part of nature.’ – Andy Franzkowiak, Director of Shrinking Space, curators of The Wonder Project
A light sculpture by Limbic Cinema that reflects the solar cycle and Colourfield by artists Eloise Moody and Vicky Long, where audience members reimagine colour in response to Wakehurst’s environment, are more discoveries to be made along the trail. And after a walk studded with hidden gems from UK artists and creative studios, nature will provide its very own finale. Visitors will end their walk by gathering to watch the sunset over the rolling green hills of Sussex.
The Wonder Project, Wakehurst Farmhouse, Selsfield Rd, Ardingly, Haywards Heath RH17 6TN
26 to 29 July and 2 to 5 August 2018 from 7pm-9.30pm (Gates open 6.30pm. Last entry 7.30pm, and gardens close 10pm). Adult: £15. Children: (4-16) £6 (Free for under 4s).