A pop-up garden as art is the highlight of summer at Tate Britain, opening 23 June and going on to 23 October 2018. And visitors can consume this art, not just in the jargonesque sense as defined by art history.
The gallery’s front lawns will be transformed into A Common Ground, a working garden led by artist collective Something & Son. The space will be a community garden welcoming the public through a daily programme of activities and one-off special events.
Tate says A Common Ground aims to increase communication and connection between visitors through sound, movement and water. Using sensors, voice recognition and sculptures, the garden will activate in fun and surprising ways – talking will trigger the fountains to flow, and structures will encourage groups of visitors together.
A Common Ground will be an edible garden nurtured and maintained by volunteers. The plants, vegetables, herbs and flowers in the garden have been chosen to reflect multicultural London today, highlighting the unexpected ancient origin of plants and how they’re used in modern-day cuisines. Visitors will be invited to share their own recipes and learn more about what’s growing in the garden through free pop-up workshops on cooking, herbal medicine and more.
Every weekend, visitors will be invited to enjoy drinks and cocktails from a Botanical Bar using herbs from the garden, as well as special outdoor Music Brunches with live bands and DJs. A programme of Summer Suppers will invite guest chefs including Clerkenwell Boy and Skye Gyngell, the Michelin star chef from Petersham Nurseries and Spring, to host a meal in the garden. The dinners will be ticketed events. A Late at Tate on Friday 3 August inspired by the garden and Anthea Hamilton’s Tate Britain Commission The Squash; Queer and Now on Saturday 23 June, a one-day festival celebrating LGBTQ+ arts and culture; and The Big Lunch, the UK’s largest annual get together for neighbours on Sunday 24 June. Over the first weekend of July, The Giant Paper Caper, an interactive art workshop for families will spill out of the galleries into the garden.
The project will culminate in a Harvest Festival for the local community to get together and experience art works in the collection, take part in cooking demonstrations and learn more about the produce grown over the summer.
Something & Son is a collective that works across art, design and architecture to create diverse work that is socially and environmentally driven. Their work focuses on the change they want to see in the world and aims to reach a wide range of audiences. Something & Son use art as a tool for social change working with communities as well as galleries and institutions worldwide. The collective is formed of Sam Collins, Hazel Durrant, Abdul Elias, Andrew Merritt, Paul Smyth, Tracey Suen and Anne Thomas. Tate Britain, 23 June – 28 October 2018, 10 am to 6pm.