The Garden Seekers Project

Artist and visiting Lecturer Jane Frederick has recently completed a 9-month research and development project investigating the enduring appeal of historical formal gardens and their ability to provoke wonder and delight.

Her new ‘garden lens’ installation explores the transient nature of gardens and how we experience them in person and in our imagination.

Following the project launch at the online Chelsea Fringe Festival, Jane was commissioned to develop new work as the very first Artist in Residence at Hamilton MAS, the micro art space by the sea in Felixstowe, Suffolk.

Based in the recently restored Felixstowe Heritage Seafront Gardens, she began the project by examining how the privately commissioned gardens of Renaissance Italy went on to inspire the creation of Victorian public pleasure gardens, democratising them for everyone to enjoy.

Working en plein air, Jane draws, paints & films on site in combination with drawing from archival photographs. Back in the studio she combines historical & digital technologies by using antique lenses & Photoshop to develop large-scale drawings and paintings.

During a series of socially distanced seasonal events Jane engaged new audiences in and around the gardens, inviting them to reflect upon why gardens are so important to individuals and the community.

The Garden Seekers Project examines the past, present and future of formal gardens at a time when we arguably need green spaces more than ever, it takes inspiration from the early twentieth century ‘garden seekers’ who travelled Italy documenting the great villas and gardens and reimagines them for a contemporary audience.

The Garden Seekers Project is generously supported by Arts Council England and Firstsite Collector’s Group.


You can find out more about the project by following this link: www.gardenseekersproject.co.uk

Photography by Martin Bridges