Wanted. Creative urban planners

Sydenham Home Park eco-city
Sydenham Home Park eco-city
Creating the eco-city at Sydenham Home Park
Creating the eco-city at Sydenham Home Park

Join Avant-Gardening at the Family Fun Day as part of Sydenham Arts Festival.  We will be turning trash into recycled treasure and working with visitors to make a mini eco-city.  

Fancy yourself as the architect of an innovative and sustainable mini eco-city? Then bring your cardboard, empty water bottles and boundless imagination and creative ingenuity and help us make a model city

Sunday 30 June, 2pm - 5pm, Home Park, Sydenham

For more information http://www.sydenhamartsfestival.co.uk/2013/event/arts-in-the-parkfamily-fun-day/

Roehampton Time Machine

Avant-Gardening is running a new project to create a short animated film with local school children. Based on The Time Machine by one-time local resident, H.G. Wells, the animation will be inspired by stories and anecdotes shared by local residents and will then be illustrated and shaped by the participating children. Watch this space for more information

Got a story to share?
Join Avant-Gardener, Polly, in Roehampton Library on Wednesday 5 June 11am - 1pm

Topics: [children and young people] [community engagement] [film and video] [psychogeography] [Roehampton] [school] [storytelling] [Wandsworth]

Walk the Thames Trail

The Thames Trail is a project by Viewfinder Photography exploring the Greenwich Riverside. Viewfinder are producing an app to guide participants through the history of the area which will be launched shortly.  

Avant-Gardening's Paul Green has been invited to lead a walk along the river, from the Cutty Sark to the 02 looking at the nature that intermittently breaks through the historical industrial landscape. 

Download the Thames Trail app and bring your camera as we explore Greenwich's riverside landscape

Places on the walk are FREE but need to be booked in advance. For more information and to book a place visit http://viewfinder.org.uk/events/thames-trail-walk-with-paul-green-from-avant-gardening

Topics: [environment] [green spaces] [Greenwich] [walks]

MK Gallery Video Space

Derek Jarman, The Queen is Dead
Derek Jarman, The Queen is Dead

Avant-Gardening's Paul is this months guest curator of the video space at MK Gallery, Milton Keynes. The films selected for this programme were chosen as they represent parts of a complex cycle of heightened emotions and the societal and psychological factors which can contribute to an individual’s perception of self. The films range from the reflective through to a pop art visualisation of war and destruction and explore the complexity of a symbiotic interaction between the individual and society.

Films incude:

Tanaami KeiichiCrayon Angel (1975) 3mins

Yukio MishiimaYukoku AKA Patriotism AKA Love (1966) 28 mins

Derek Jarman, The Queen is Dead (1986) 6mins

Standish Lawler Necrology (1970) 11mins

Marianne Heske Phrenological Self-Portrait (1976) 8mins

Sandra LahireLady Lazarus (1991) 25 mins

MK Gallery, 900 Midsummer Blvd, Milton Keynes MK9 3QA


Topics: [film and video] [In Every Dream Home] [Milton Keynes]

The Shame Show

Caroline Smith
Caroline Smith

Caroline Smith and Paul Green: The Shame Show

Thursday 30 May / 6.30pm

The Shame Show is an interactive game/variety show hosted by Mertle (performance artist Caroline Smith) who will be subverting notions of popular entertainment as she investigates concepts of shame with her audience.

The evening will be divided between Mertle’s probing her guests in a series of interviews with guests such as a psychotherapist, philosopher and unrepentant ne’er do wells and a participatory game show where the audience can confess and relieve themselves of their burden of shame.

Like a deranged flashback from the golden days of light entertainment combined with an informal supper club, where the canapés of shame absolve the participants of their negative emotions, The Shame Show is an emotional exorcism that deals with psychological complexities in a manner that is both surprising and enlightening.

Caroline Smith is a performance artist whose work explores the peripheries of stand-up comedy and art. In her Mertle persona she has looked at people’s complex relationships with food and eating disorders. Mertle herself is from another time, the 1950’s, where a housewife was as adept at emotional self-restraint as she was with making a Victoria sponge and consequently she acts a repository for people’s intimate moments of self-doubt or insecurity . Mertle becomes a non-judgemental listener and the audience become increasingly aware that beneath the confidently domestic exterior is a woman who shares their insecurities and self-doubt.

For this performance Caroline will be collaborating with Avant-Gardening whose ongoing curatorial side project In Every Dream Home a Heartbreak takes a fresh look at sexuality and gender representation in non-mainstream culture. Avant-Gardener Paul Green will be animating the space with moments of shame in popular culture and the two will use the performance as a way of exploring future collaborations.

MK Gallery

Topics: [In Every Dream Home] [Milton Keynes] [performance]

Cabinet of Curiosities exhibition

A small selection of work collected as part of the Greenwich Cabinet of Curiosities project will soon be on display at the Greenwich Tourist Information Centre. The project, which ran for over a year, was a participatory arts project that involved a variety of forms of engagement with residents and visitors to the borough to investigate the psychogeography of place. 

The work on display showcases some of the research materials collected alongside responses to the project created by participants during workshops hosted by the Avant-Gardeners. The exhibition will also spotlight the work of photgrapher, Jack Goffe, who photographed the wharves in East Greenwich at a time when the area begins a period of radical change. Limited edition prints of Jack's works are available for sale through the Greenwich Tourist Information Centre and a price list for the works is available here

Images collected from the Greenwich Cabinet of Curiosities exhibition will be on display at the Greenwich Tourist Information Centre at the Old Royal Naval College from Tuesday 26 February - Sunday 24 March.

Opening Hours 10am - 5pm

Address Pepys House, 2 Cutty Sark Gardens, London, SE10 9LW

Topics: [exhibition] [Greenwich] [psycho-geography]

W.L.T.M. Avant Gardening continue their exploration of creative communities in Roehampton

Interested in arts, gardening, community walks or any other community based activities?

Do you want to find out what projects and activities are happening in the Roehampton area?

Would you like to meet others interested in initiating community based projects?

Would you like to find out about events and activities that you could take part in?

Join Avant-Gardening for a fun and informal 'speed-dating' style networking event at                 Joy Cafe(Danebury Avenue)Tuesday 15 January, 5pm - 7pm (drop in anytime)

You may be looking to start your own community garden, run an art project or lead a community walk, or you may already be offering community activities and looking to link up with others in the local area. Or you may be a local resident interested in getting more involved in the community or seeking a new activity for the New Year. 
If you are interested in finding out more about local activities, want to share your skills or find new and exciting opportunities in the area please come along to the event and meet others to share skills, knowledge and contacts and find out more about opportunities in the area
If you are interested in promoting existing provision or have any questions please contact Paul at paul@avantgardening.org

Winter Lanterns

As part of our Greenwich Cabinet of Curiosities exhibition we are hosting an extra festive day on Friday 21st Dec when we are inviting you to come and meet the Avant-Gardeners and make a Greenwich themed lantern to light up the longest night


Greenwich Cabinet of Curiosities Exhibition

The Greenwich Cabinet of Curiosities 

Avant-Gardening exhibition/residency at Greenwich Heritage Centre

Tuesday 4 December 2012 - Friday 11 January 2013
Open Tuesday - Saturday 9am - 5pm(Closed 25 Dec, 26 Dec and 1 Jan)

How do you view the area where you live?

How do you respond to the history or of the area; its stories and anecdotes?

Have you got a tale to tell?

Artists’ collective Avant-Gardening has been out and about in the Royal Borough of Greenwich; talking to residents and visitors about their responses to the area for collation into a new mobile archive, the Greenwich Cabinet of Curiosities,  which is one of the centrepieces of an interactive exhibition/residency at the Greenwich Heritage Centre in Woolwich. 

Designed and built by designer Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad the Greenwich Cabinet of Curiosities along with Greenwich Garden by designer/maker, Hilary Blackburn, will be focal points of an exhibition and programme of creative workshops and interactions which will add to the growing collection of materials being curated into the cabinet.


We will be showcasing a selection of work contributed by participants in various workshops around the borough and also encouraging visitors to add their own voices during our exhibition workshops which will see the contents of the cabinet expanded out into the gallery space to create a living archive that represents the personal responses of the community

During the residency at Greenwich Heritage Centre we will be curating a smaller version of the exhibition which will be on display at the Discover Greenwich Information Centre at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich during February 2013.

Workshops and activities will be programmed throughout the residency and to keep track of all activities you can download the Greenwich Cabinet of Curiosities app which will be live for the duration of the exhibition and give you regular updates on the activities and the work created by participants during the residency

The app is downloadable for Android from Google Apps https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.avantgardening.android/>

An iOS app is available to download for iPhones by visiting this link: http://goo.gl/ngxNj

Workshops scheduled to date include:
Cabinet of Curiosities Fanzine workshop                                                                                                       Help the Avant-Gardeners to create one of the Greenwich Cabinet of Curiosities fanzines that will be produced and digitally distributed weekly throughout the exhibition. 

Tuesday 4th December 11am – 3pm

Wednesday 5th December 2pm - 5pm

Friday 7th December 2pm - 5pm

Thursday 13 December 10am - 1pm

Friday 4 January 10am - 1pm

Thursday 10 Jan 10am - 1pm


Winter lantern workshop                                                                                                                                    Join us making Greenwich related lanterns to light up the long winter nights. The lanterns will be part of the exhibition until 21st Dec when participants will be invited to join us to light up the longest night and take their lanterns home for the festive season

Wednesday 12th December 2pm - 5pm

Friday 21 December 2pm - 5pm

Download the app or visit our blog http://greenwichcuriosities.blogspot.co.uk/ for details of more workshops as they are confirmed

The Greenwich Cabinet of Curiosities is supported by the National Lottery, through Arts Council England

Topics: [art] [exhibition] [Greenwich] [Woolwich]

Inside the Dream Home

Film Screening / Zine making - Avant Gardening

Thursday 1 November / 6.30pm / Free  

MK Gallery

Join Avant-Gardening as they explore the archives of otherness as portrayed in vintage popular culture and consider the messages included in pulp fiction and B movies of the time. Through the creation of a fanzine we will explore how the appropriation of the image and creative experimentation subverted the push to conformity and normality. Illustrated with short films, mind bending film clips and an eclectic soundtrack of grooves and retro rock we will explore the wilder fringes of pop culture and the move towards experimentation that challenged the orthodoxy of the time.


MK Gallery, 900 Midsummer Blvd, Milton Keynes MK9 3QA


Topics: [film and video] [popular culture]

artwork by polly brannan
website by the useful arts organisation