Georgia’s Garden

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‘Georgia’s Garden’ 2017 to date, In collaboration with Nick Bowler, Allotment Garden,Meadow Well, UK.

How can building a garden be an art practice? 

When we are designing our work, is designing our life also a part of our ‘practice’? 

When we design our garden around permaculture principles, and by extension our lives, we are becoming a part of the change we want to see in the world. 

When making projects before, my work was seeking to simulate and through that, stimulate change in the world. By creating in miniature, in three weeks in the mountains, or in a dinner, a different way of working, acting and being in the world. 

In building a garden, I’m not making projects to highlight how things should be different or opening up tiny ephemeral spaces where we might, maybe be able to act differently or exchange differently.

I’m actively, persistently, constantly, being a part of the change.

So ‘permaculture is revolution in disguise’, right? 

No, that’s a complete misnomer, revolution in disguise is not revolution at all, its subversion. 

So, ‘permaculture is radical subversion disguised as food security’ 

yeah that’s it

‘Permaculture is a design system, a framework, a ‘practical method of developing ecologically harmonious, efficient and productive systems that can be used by anyone, anywhere’ 

And practicing it is a creative pursuit towards living harmoniously with the earth, sharing abundance, building community, and working against capitalist constructs? yep. 

And we’re going to heal our mental heath by touching the soil while we’re at it? Yes!

Build true friendships? 

By seeing our worth as more than how much money we can swap our labour for, we can build alternative networks based around building abundance through sharing and collaborative working. We can swap seeds for plants, help digging the earth for knowledge, on how to grow on it. Across hundreds of exchanges we can build lasting relationships built on mutual aid and kindness. 

Grow our skills and confidence? 

Yes

Get fresh organic vegetables? 

Yes, and be able to eat them together and share them with our families and friends. 

In caring for a piece of the Earth, a sense of ownership brings us a space of freedom for creation and building. 

we deepen our relationship and sense of responsibility for our local environment, we feel its seasons more keenly, its needs and changes, and we become more attuned to our environmental responsibility and role in stewardship of the earth. 

A piece of earth is more than a garden, it’s a place where we shape and grow who and what we are in the world and the things we put out into it.

Kiln Building

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Building a Neolithic style Pottery Kiln,

2018, In collaboration with Martin Clark, Arild Midtbo Kalseth, Ray Morton, Maria Pantas, earth, sand, straw, water to make cob bricks, clay mortar, found ceramic headstone, Cyprus.

Images by Martin Clark and Ray Morton.

Clay Making

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Processing clay from the earth, 2018, Sicily.

Studio 70

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‘Studio 70‘ A collaborative practice initiated by Laura Roberts, commonly involving Vic Vivarelli Colonna, Georgia Clayton-Jeeves, Olga Paczka, Francisco Zhan, amongst many others, 2014-16, London and Tuscany.

But What the Fuck is ‘Studio 70’?

Studio 70 is an anarcho-communist artist collective, interested in work, play, education, labour, community building and collaboration as art practice, food’s ability to bring us together, skill-sharing, and the art school as a site of resistance.

Notable projects across three years of working together include a week-long pasta-making project, including a giant sheet of lasagne, homemade giant pot, and spoon, culminating in an open fire-cooked dinner in a New Cross back garden, a midnight graduation ceremony, complete with custom made caps and gowns and a muti-colored tent open to all on Goldsmith’s backfield, multiple takeovers of a house in Lewisham Way to hold group exhibitions and workshops including sunflower planting, crochet and linocut printmaking and four iterations of our summer trip to Italy.

35mm film images from ‘Studio 70: Summer Residency Commune Thing, Year Two: The Unkempt Wenches Of The Wilderness’ 2015, Apennine Mountains, Italy. This project is a three-week self-directed residency in a ruined mountain house, living wild and primitively without electricity, running water except a lone tap, toilets, refrigeration or home comforts. We cook on an open fire or in the wood fired pizza oven, eating, living, and making work together. We sleep dormitory-style on airbeds in rooms looking out on the stars without windows. We forage blueberries and raspberries on hikes up the mountain, gather firewood, take trips to the waterfall, organise our day according to the sun’s path across the sky, solve problems through discussion and each lead a day, delivering workshops to the group, sharing artistic or life skills or developing a work and leading a discussion. In 2015 the project was for 13 people and included projects surrounding ceramics and kiln building, batique, bread making, yoga and natural tie-dye.

‘S.O.U.P’

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Socialising Outside University Prescriptions (S.O.U.P)
2015-6 in this iteration led by Georgia Clayton-Jeeves and Daisy Shayler
London.
See this project documented along with many other cool ones here: https://citycookbook.org/

‘UAL Green Roof’

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UAL Green Roof Garden‘, 2016-to date, Society began by Georgia Clayton-Jeeves and Lou Baker2016-to date. Central Saint Martin’s Rooftop, London.

The ‘Green Roof Garden‘ is a staff-student collaboration to bring a healing and restorative green space to The Granary Building’s underutilised 100-foot long terrace. My involvement began with the founding of the garden, lasted through the organization phase, planning, gaining permissions, and organizing how to allow students onto the roof to participate, into the building phase, and the first year of working on and enjoying the garden.

In a building where space is at a premium and students and staff of different disciplines are segregated by locked doors, we felt it a crying shame, the terrace, had remained locked and barred to students since an incident in the first months of the building opening, five years prior to the projects beginning. In the mid-winter, at the beginning of 2016, we stood on the windswept and forlorn terrace, a cross course, mixed age group of students, lecturers, administration staff, and library workers, most of whom had never met each other before. United in the shared belief that gardening was a restorative force, a force for good and change, and that through it we could have agency over this space, improve it, and through that do something positive for our sense of togetherness and wellbeing, and perhaps begin to offer these things to the rest of our colleagues and coworkers in the building, we designed a garden.

By Summer 2016, our materials were decided upon and sourced, our first planters were designed and built and our first seeds had grown into plants, we had had some harvests and our space was thriving. No longer deserted and unloved the terrace was a space of non-hierarchical community. The beginning of the student society in September 2016 marked an opening up of the space to students, something we had battled for since the beginning, marking a step forwards in students regaining the institutions’ trust with a space they deserve to be able to use, and a key step forwards in ownership and agency for our CSM community in our new home at Granary Square.

The project continues to go from strength to strength and you can follow its progress here; https://www.facebook.com/thegreenroofcsm or here https://www.instagram.com/ualgreenroof/

‘___ ZONE’