Friday 17 June 2022
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
In Thinking Green, artist Owen Griffiths uses the collection as a tool to explore our relationship to land use and landscape, as we embark on the work of rethinking the gallery garden.
By looking at the collection though different lenses we can explore its connections to trade, climate and the wealth that made the city of Swansea.
What does it mean to explore an artwork as a toolkit for change?
What is the role of the museum and gallery at a time of global crisis?
How can a museum or gallery be a ‘useful’ space in the work of modelling a radical future?
Join us as we explore these ideas through a series of talks and discussions with invited guest speakers, artists, writers and curators, online and in the Gallery.
Decolonising the Garden
In the second conversation of the series, artist Owen Griffiths will be joined by grower and writer Claire Ratinon, artist Sam Ayre, and gardener Sui Searle, to consider the responsibilities involved in creating a garden. The speakers will explore the importance of bringing deeper connections with the land and its histories, especially those of colonialism and industry, to the fore when developing green spaces. Gardens can be potentially radical spaces, used as arenas to ask difficult questions and to model new ways of working together. In order to fulfil this potential, we must acknowledge the often problematic and violent ways in which many of the plants that fill these spaces arrived here. This discussion will turn to the garden as a way into looking at wider society, and in questioning how we got here, will consider how to move forward.
‘Very rarely are questions asked and answers sought about the origins of a plant in a way that illuminates how it was taken and what it symbolises.’ Claire Ratinon, Horticultural Appropriation
Friday 17 June, 1:00pm – 2:00pm
With guest speakers, Claire Ratinon, Sui Searle and Sam Ayre
This event will take place in the Gallery.
Free, donations optional.
Booking essential. Call 01792 516900 or book online
Claire Ratinon is an organic food grower and writer based in East Sussex.
Claire has grown edible plants in a variety of roles from growing organic vegetables for the Ottolenghi restaurant, Rovi to delivering workshops throughout London. Claire has been invited to share her growing journey in talks for organisations including The Garden Museum, Charleston House and Royal Botanical Garden, Edinburgh, as well as presenting features for Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time. Her writing has been featured in The New Statesman, Bloom Magazine and Waitrose Food Magazine. She co-wrote the pamphlet, ‘Horticultural Appropriation’ for Rough Trade Books with artist, Sam Ayre and her first book, ‘How To Grow Your Dinner Without Leaving The House’ is out now. Her second book, ‘Unearthed: On Race and Roots, and How the Soil Taught Me I Belong,’ will be published in June 2022.
Sam Ayre is an artist based in East Sussex.
Sam specialises in socially engaged projects that focus on opinions, society, learning, ecologies and ideas of legitimacy surrounding art, culture and history. Much of his work is project based, engaging groups of people in exploring their opinions, ideas and emotions.
He makes paintings, drawings and performances in his studio practice which compliment and support all aspects of the participatory projects. He is a massive fan of flawed perspectives, conviviality and tangents.
He has delivered commissions for Whitechapel Gallery, Tate Modern, Turner Contemporary, De La Warr Pavilion, Folkestone Triennial, Charleston House and Art Night London amongst others. He regularly collaborates with author and organic food grower Claire Ratinon, together they were in Residence at West Dean College of Art and Gardens and co-wrote the pamphlet Horticultural Appropriation: Why Horticulture Needs Decolonising for Rough Trade Books and the Garden Museum London.
Sui Searle is a gardener, writer and printmaker and the founder of @decolonisethegarden on Instagram which focuses on bringing a decolonial lens and anti-racism perspective to horticulture.
She is also editor of the online gardening Substack newsletter, Radicle. She believes everyone should have the right to connect with the earth and the natural world and believes in the healing powers of doing so: bringing us back to our connection with the Earth, ourselves, our more-than-human kin and with each other. She has given talks on issues of racial and social justice in the context of horticulture for the Institute of Historical Research, Charleston, Kew, Pesticide Action Network and The University of Greenwich.