For the ninth year running, second year students from the Fine Art course at The Arts University Bournemouth will be turning Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens into works of art as part of a live project encouraging people to explore contemporary visual arts in a public setting.

Run in collaboration with Bournemouth Borough Council’s Arts Development and the Parks and Countryside departments, the exhibition entitled ‘cultivated’, runs from 28th April – 9th May and features the work of 15 Fine Art students, headed up by lead artist and University graduate Philip Lunn. Philip has previously undertaken both a BA (Hons) Fine Art and MA Fine Art degree at the University.

The brief given to the students was to create a piece of art that responds to the visual and historical qualities of the Lower Gardens, engaging visitors of all ages. The art on display includes a performance piece from student Abigail Shamah, who will be transformed into a bubbly 1950s housewife, dusting the trees and polishing the railings in her piece ‘Keeping House’, which aims to portray people’s pride and love for Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens, shining a light on just how much work gets done by the workers behind the scenes to maintain the Lower Garden?s pristine state.

Other work includes Philippa Norton’s ‘Folly’, an installation which has been designed to accentuate the enchanted feel of the gardens; Sarah Weeks video piece ‘No Fishing’ which allows the watcher to be submerged within an alternative reality which is inspired by the picturesque landscaped environment; and Rebecca Murray’s ‘Birds’, a sound installation.

Carol Maund, Arts Development Officer from Bournemouth Borough Council, who is currently developing a new arts festival for Bournemouth in September, is a great supporter of this annual project. She commented “Bournemouth Borough Council is always delighted to be working with the fine art students from The Arts University Bournemouth who each year create original and thought provoking work to be shown in the lower gardens. This year is particularly important as the Council begins the build up for its own arts festival and sees these experimental exhibitions and interventions as the way forward in developing a lively and dynamic arts culture in the town.”

Several council gardeners will also be involved in selecting a winner in a ‘Gardeners Choice Award’ for the art work which most suits the garden setting. Clive Warren, Community parks and countryside officer, will present the award on the opening night, Thursday 28th April from 6pm to 8pm, when all the artists involved in ‘Cultivated’ including the performance artists, will be in Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens. For more information visit the website www.artbournemouth.co.uk

To experience the playful and eclectic works of art, visit Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens on the opening night on 28th April (6pm to 8pm) or from 29th April – 9th May between 10am and 5pm daily. The art works are in a variety of media, including performance art – some of which will be timetabled, so please check the website or go to the information point, located in front of the Bandstand throughout the show for times and dates.