The idea of the workshop was inspired by the 1960s twentieth-century fabrics, designed by Antoni Kenar’s pupils. Their colors and patterns derive both from folk art traditions and from contemporary art thinking. During this three-day workshop with 11 participants from all walks of life, we looked at these ideas by searching for colors and shapes that helped us create and print our own designs. Starting with a silent walk through the park, we found inspiration in the Sculpture Park at the Krolikarnia and nearby allotment gardens, reflecting on the influence of nature and its colors on our well-being. Each participant created his own book of inspiration and print on the fabric. On the last day, all came together and printed a wall hanging for the display and the collection of the museum.

Collaborating with Monika Jakubiak, a designer and director of Soul Stich http://soulstitch.co.uk I designed the printing blocks and developed the design with the participants working with Monika s expertise with dyes and textiles from Khadi Indian cotton to Japanese silk.

Photos by olga milczynska of August Design Studio

SEED A Participatory arts programme

You can’t eat money, start planting.

“On the economics of climate change: ‘The changes now under way in the Earth’s atmosphere can become the greatest and widest reaching market failure ever seen.’” – Nicholas Stern

Building a Working Kitchen Garden and Window Sill Gardens to manage stress and money. Starting from the gardens by growing own food and produce provides the base for developing Self-sufficiency through creativity and the understanding of economic systems resulting in a cookbook: Revival Cooking, the long term aim is to start a Supper Club aimed at breaking isolation by cooking , eating, developing recipes and gardening together. The cookbook features easy recipes around economical, nutritional ingredients incorporating tricks for eating well together or alone based on heritage cooking, frugal living and small space kitchen gardening.

SEED forms a part of a wider programme of health activities commissioned and facilitated by Kentish Town Improvement Fund based within the NHS James Wigg Practice.
The health centre serves over 26, 000 patients covering a range of services from a GP practice, counselling, children and family therapy and dentistry. There are also non clinical community rooms in which a range of programs, from exercise to the arts, are delivered.

Aims and objectives of SEED are:

  • To develop self-sufficiency
  • To understand and manage money
  • To engage with the arts and gardening as a tool to improving mental and physical wellbeing and expanding gardening, financial and nutritional skills sets.

SEED investigates value, in monetary terms or the tacit assets of creativity, self-sufficiency and community relationships. Titled ‘Seed: Economy and Self-sufficiency’, project participants, artists and guest speakers question and test various economic systems.
An overall emphasis is on understanding the workings of money, getting to grips with a budget, developing entrepreneurship, and devising ways to trade skills for goods and services. SEED explores value outside the monetary system- i.e. the value of creativity and community. Once again, the garden makes for both a collective starting point, as well as a laboratory for ideas. Starting from the garden and connecting theory with printmaking and making, ideas will be generated and transformed into products to be sold or bartered.
Economic systems will be studied and applied such as: Trade-in-kind, A Gift Economy, Skills Exchange, Bartering, The Gig Economy, Entrepreneurship, Self-sufficient and frugal living. Beginning with Skills Exchange, a board will be put up listing Offered, and Available as well as wanted skills amongst the project group.

Printmaking is the primary creative method to translate ideas into products. Prints will be exchanged for plants. For example, Lavender will be planted, made into scented sachets and upcycled tea towels will be bartered. Other items will be developed through the project with the participants as co –producers. An attempt will be made to print money: a Kentish Town SEED Money, inspired by the Brixton pound and The Lewes Village Currency, complementary currencies used to strengthen local relationships and traders.

A cookbook will be developed connecting growing produce in the garden exchanging and testing low cost recipes. It will be designed to be as interactive as possible, with recipes for cooking, and recipes for a good life written by group. Zidane Publishing manages the production of ‘Revival Cooking.

SEED project explores a gig-economy which doesn’t seek profit, but works for sustainability serving people and the environment. This approach is paraphrased from a capitalistic three tier model working for ‘Peace of Mind, People, and the Planet.’ Seed’s methods on how to trade skills and devise no or low cost products champion the handmade by simple or found materials through the strength of a community.

SEEDS motto is ‘Interaction rather than transaction.’


Six Senses Garden

All Party Parliamentary Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing (APPGAHW)

Six Senses Garden – a participatory arts programme

Six Senses Garden, a free interdisciplinary arts and gardening project, forms part of a wider programme of arts and health activities commissioned and facilitated by Kentish Town Improvement Fund based within the NHS flagship Kentish Town Health Centre in London. The health centre serves over 22,000 patients offering a range of services including a GP practice, counselling, children and family therapy and dentistry. There are also non-clinical community rooms in which the arts and health programmes are delivered. Tesco’s Bags for Change, backed by a community vote, has provided the funds for this ongoing project started in 2016.

Project participants are service users of Kentish Town Health Centre as well as people living locally who sought ways to cope with stress. They were recruited through the Health Centre’s website, the charity’s website, printed flyers, local community centres and through referral by GPs and social workers.

The project sees participants attend weekly sessions in which they maintain a sustainable edible garden and create art work related to plants, nature and stress. This has culminated in a Well-Being Fanzine based on individual research and art journals. Growing a garden together from found materials has aided in the development of a set of individual tools for managing stress and anxiety. Since the project is based on the six senses each sense is called on by observing, drawing, listening, cooking, smelling and tasting the plants. Insights gathered from plants’ strategies for managing stress are published in the self-published fanzine distributed in the health centre and local area. Six Senses Garden has developed into a creative research hub across the course of the project.

Theories drawn from eco-therapy and dialogic arts underpin the programme by linking plant physiology with the arts. The aim is for the participants to develop pictorial metaphors. These are powerful in re-framing responses and thinking habits enabling new coping mechanisms.

The project focusses on learning through hand on activities. By gardening and discussing with visiting experts in the fields of plant stress, eco-therapy and the arts.

Printmaking is the main artistic approach and medium alongside photography-without-a camera. Each printmaking technique connects the science of a session and the particular plant stress discussed with the gardener. An interdisciplinary approach combines observations of microscopic plants cellular structure with making images. Participants derive direct inspiration from their work in the garden when taking part in printing activities. To connect the artistic approach with that of growing a sustainable garden, printing with food packaging and plants, colours from vegetables, coffee and dried spices is used.
‘Plants is art. When looking at them in the microscope you see the textures, that you can turn into print. What is hidden is beautiful, you see that in the microscope. Art and biology shows that nature has all the answers.‘ Comment by participant

The project was instigated collaboratively and managed by a team of members:

Creative Leader and Project Manager
Bess Frimodig

Creative Leader
Melissa Hardwick, Director
Kentish Town Improvement Fund and Free Space Gallery at Kentish Town Health Center.

Scientific Research Partner and Project Manager
Dr. Anna Febrero Ribas, PhD Plant Ecophysiology and Consultant for Plant Stress.
Institut Rubió I Tudurí, Escola de Jardineria School of Horticulture Barcelona

Scientific Research Partner
Dr. Joan Martinez Guijarro, PhD.
Phytotherapy & Food Supplement specialist. Barcelona

Gardening Expert
Manoel L. Alves Souza
Landscape and Rural Areas Specialist Technician
Erasmus Project Student from Institut Rubió I Tudurí, Escola de Jardineria School of Horticulture Barcelona

Film maker
Peter Wareing