Crocus Field

Little Marton Windmill. Photo Rebecca Chesney
Little Marton Windmill. Photo Rebecca Chesney

Avant Gardening in partnership with LeftCoast and artist Rebecca Chesney are set to create a giant living artwork in the green space around Little Marton Windmill, Blackpool, this month and you can be part of making it happen.

Residents and businesses are invited to roll up their sleeves and get involved with planting the 100,000 crocuses needed to create the ambitious installation over four days from 30 October to 2 November. Everything you’ll need to take part will be provided so this is the perfect chance to let your green fingers get creative.

Not only will the planting create a stunning living artwork that can be enjoyed by local residents but it will also brighten the Preston New Road route into Blackpool for visitors. The crocus field will flower in spring 2015 and will create the perfect habitat for wildlife and bees as well as a torrent of colour around the mill.

Everything you need to get involved will be provided including planting tools, equipment and refreshments.

Planting takes place from Thursday 30 October to Sunday 2 November at Little Marton Windmill between 10am and 3pm daily.

To book your time to come along and plant click here to complete our short booking form or call 01253 477973 and speak to Jade.

Or feel free to drop by and help with the planting.

Topics: [Blackpool] [collaboration] [community engagement] [Creative Roots] [gardening]

In Every Dream Home, a Heartache

Mertle Merman
Mertle Merman

As part of Wide Open School at the Hayward Gallery, in Fritz Haeg’s Sundown Schoolhouse of Queer Home Economics at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre. SE1

Advance tickets available from Southbank Centre website

In Every Dream Home, a Heartache

a day of events and activities co-curated by Paul Green of Avant Gardening

Sunday 17 June 11.00 - 20.30

The received images of housekeeping in contemporary Western society are generally based on mid-century concepts of domestic havens; a nuclear family with clearly defined gender roles and power structures. Any deviations from this norm were given short shrift in the post-war world of the mid-20th century, so where did the queer voice fit into this seemingly perfect construct and how have perceptions altered in recent times? During the day Avant Gardening will be looking at the tensions between the role of the gay person as 'the other' and the juxtapositions between the concepts of domestic bliss, the outsider and the concept of a queer home economics.
Drawing on the high camp imagery of both mid-century domestic bliss and even camper negative stereotypes of gay 'outsiders' from popular culture we will be creating a fanzine that explores the role of home economics in the popular imagination. As part of the creation of a fanzine we will be looking at alternatives to the traditional perceptions of domestic bliss, considering the pressures of conformity and the contemporary view of a gay household. We will also be considering the rituals of domesticity employed to keep the spectres of dirt and disorder from the home and will be joined by Mertle (performance artist, Caroline Smith) for her Butoh inspired cleansing rituals. As Mertle herself explains:
Now, you might have a question about cleaning an aspect of your gorgeous homes-and-garden. Perhaps your nautical theme has left your carpet dripping wet. Your pedigree partner puked up and stain busters refused to bust. Or you may – dirty blighters that some of you are- have a question about cleaning your actual selves. Who knows.All questions will be answered by Mertle. The best will win a Prize. At the very least you can scrub off that perma-stain. To ask Mertle your question visit
We will also be joined by Radical Faeries; White Rose and Faerie Query who will be on hand to talk about the international community of Radical Faeries.
Artist Paul Harfleet will be talking about his work and his interests in the implications of identity, citizenship and its influence on the navigation and memory of the urban environment. He augments and re-contextualises various sites and objects by allocating them with new meaning or significance often through drawing, photography and intervention, from his on-going Pansy Project which involves the artist planting pansies at the site of homophobic abuse to his current focus on masculinity, cultural homophobia and the iconography of punishment and execution.
Overseeing the day’s activities will be artist Paul Elwick and Avant-Gardeners Paul Green and Polly Brannan who will be facilitating the production of the fanzine - an old school, lo-fi, cut and paste publication to be created by the participants at the day. The Avant-Gardeners will also be offering wild flower seed prescriptions and hosting a potluck lunch - so bring your delicious delights to share with everyone! Throughout the day we will be intermittently relaxing to a specially compiled playlist of music that ricochets from the fuzzy sounds of vintage rock to sensual classics ripped from the soundtracks of the annals of exploitation sinema.


Topics: [collaboration] [fanzine] [film and video] [Hayward] [performance]

artwork by polly brannan
website by the useful arts organisation