Avant-Gardening is an artist’s collective led by artist, Polly Brannan and project manager Paul Green, whose work investigates social spaces and the urban environment. Avant-Gardening has delivered commissions ranging from workshops on housing estates to gallery exhibitions. We have produced interventions and happenings at the Barbican, as part of Radical Nature, and at City of London Festival and been commissioned by Studio Voltaire and Stanley Picker Gallery. Avant-Gardening’s practice is highly collaborative and we work with many different artists to realise our creative vision. The artists we work with as part of Avant-Gardening are all experienced artist educators and we have a strong commitment to working with the community, especially the hard-to-reach or those that may not any experience of working with artists

Avant-Gardening is a socially-engaged arts and environment project aimed at engaging all sectors of the community with environment, communication and sustainability issues through art, gardening and community engagement. Young and old alike will come together to unleash their creativity in thought-provoking but fun workshops and activities. Avant-Gardening aims to solicit the community's creative responses to their shared environment; the public spaces they interact in and their inter-personal relationships. Communities come together to rethink their own environment or explore perceptions of their community through an ongoing and organically evolving programme of arts which will give a voice to the participants and involve them in cutting-edge arts projects and activities. Avant-Gardening brings fun and creativity into the city's urban green spaces and encourages participants to reconsider their local environment and their interaction with it.

Paul Green curates and project manages Avant-Gardening. He was previously the Arts Development Officer at Lambeth Council before taking up the position of Outreach Co-ordinator at Hayward Gallery. He is a passionate advocate for engaging people in the creative process and developed an innovative programme of creative engagement for young people at the Hayward. He is interested in the areas where art intersects with the humanities and how art can open new paths to debate and fresh approaches to current issues. As a freelancer he has worked for Film London, Camden Arts Centre, Greenwich Film Festival and Camden Council amongst others

Polly Brannan is a visual artist whose practice is concerned with communication, exchange, interaction and collaboration with various communities and in different settings. She uses art as a vehicle for the exchange of skills and local knowledge, exploring the potential of public spaces, community networks and the ideas/history/potential of local environments. Polly has wide ranging artistic experience through her work with both publicworks and Avant-Gardening. She is a recent recipient of the Gasworks International Fellowship for which she completed a seven week residency in Ethiopia


The aims of Avant-Gardening are:

These aims will be achieved through a programme that introduces participants to contemporary arts practice and environment and sustainability issues. We will work with artists with an interest in the urban environment and socially-engaged practice to develop ambitious projects that are as artistically valid as they are socially-engaged.

Avant-Gardening is developed and programmed by Paul Green and Polly Brannan

Avant Gardening can be commissioned to create and develop arts projcts specific to your needs. 

Fundraising. Paul is an experienced fundraiser for arts projects and can advise on or write funding applications on behalf of constituted community or arts organisation. 

A portfolio highlighting some of our work can be viewed here

artwork by polly brannan
website by the useful arts organisation