London based garden design festival staged a three month long project in partnership with the RHS and coin Street Community Builders, titled The Remix Garden, running over the summer of 2013 in the iconic OXO Tower Wharf courtyard on the South Bank. The basic premise being that the Cloudy Bay Discovery Garden, designed by Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam which appeared at Chelsea Flower Show, was handed over to four upcoming designers to remix, in the same manner that a song would be remixed by different producers.
The installations by Jon Sims, Anoushka Feiler, Matthew Childs and Daniel Lobb, ran consecutively from the start of August, with each in situ for a period of three weeks. The designers responded to the original garden’s materials and themes in a variety of innovative ways. Bookending the riverside residency Sims and Lobb both provided responses which framed the materials, in packing crates and a shipping container respectively, suggesting notions of the garden arriving and leaving the site. Feiler’s installation exploded free from caged restraints, running amok in a blaze of floral glory across the space, whilst Childs’ erupted from the ground in huge steel culverts overflowing with plants. The dramatic transformation of a normally hard and grey site into stimulating gardens proved a great success with residents and businesses at Oxo Tower Wharf. They enjoyed each one and looked forward to the process of ‘remixing’ with curious anticipation. We are now looking at doing something similar to animate the space in the future, working with the owners Coin Street Community Builders.
To complete the garden’s cycle it seemed only fitting that the original designers, Wilson and McWilliam, should also be allowed to create a remix version. Their conceptually tight work consisting of selected elements of the garden hanging suspended from moving winches offered an eye catching centre piece to the RHS London Shades of Autumn Show in the Lindley Hall. The show also featured the other remix designers collaborating with selected nurseries, and using signature parts of their former installations to create plant displays, quite unlike anything seen ever at a RHS show before. Finally, in the spirit of the project’s recycling and reuse aesthetic, the materials remaining at the end of the process found afterlives in local community garden spaces.
As a preliminary to the project the Remix designers took part in a workshop with choreographer Charlotte Spencer at Siobhan Davies Dance to explore the similarities in the ways which dancers and designers approach movement through space. The results were fascinating and are due to be developed further with the company in the near future, with the intention of creating garden interventions in the public realm.
Cityscapes Remix Garden | London UK
Project Management: Cityscapes
Project Partners Royal Horticultural Society, Coin Street Community Builders
Location: Oxo Tower Wharf, London
Dates: 1 August – 23 October 2013
Designers: Wilson McWilliam Studio, Jon Sims, Anoushka Feiler, Matthew Childs, Daniel Lobb
Construction: Gardenlink, St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots