TEND BOOK [Signed Limited Edition]

TEND BOOK [Signed Limited Edition]
£10.50 [incl p&p] Details are on our website [see the link opposite] for information on the book and how to purchase a copy.
TEND is an ongoing project that originated as a year-long research residency; as it continues we will be condensing ideas, exploring further locations and processes of collaboration. We are also currently developing a publication.
Trewidden Garden is an important example of the links between industrial expansion and horticultural research witnessed in the South West of England throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.
TEND references both the tending of plants and the nurturing of an idea over a sustained period of time. The aim of the residency was to develop a specific understanding of the garden in relation to broader geographical, cultural and ecological thinking through a sustained period of residence. We have witnessed the porosity of its borders and encouraged the role of emergence and open encounters in the realisation of ideas. During a process of exploratory micro-projects, gardening and exchanges between visitors and staff we are also unraveling the contemporary role of the garden within the context of its industrial and horticultural heritage. Over the course of the residency the two sheds, that we sited in the garden, evolved to become studio, archival space and artwork. TEND has developed as a conversation between ourselves where collected works are situated in relation to each other to form new perspectives.
TEND has been supported by Arts Council England – SW, Trewidden Garden and the Bolitho Estate.

NEWS - Winter 08/ Spring 09

The old stable yard adjacent to the gardens have been renovated over the past 6 months and will soon be occupied by a diverse range of artists from the region. The 15 studios will make a welcome contribution to the arts infrastructure in West Penwith and should be a wonderful place to work. We have taken up Studio 2 as a collaborative work space.

We are continuing to develop work within the TEND project and will be showing as part of the 2009 Open Studios.

RANE [Research in Art Nature and Environment] based at University College Falmouth are funding a small publication about TEND which we will be distributing regionally and nationally. We are especially keen to develop links with Green Tourism where we might generate new perspectives on the landscape for the visitor and build new relationships with regional business and organisations. Our publication will be part of this enterprise.

Some images from the ALIAS funded Open Day held in 2008

Some images from the ALIAS funded Open Day held in 2008
Looking out from the shed at the poly-tunnels.

Cinema Shed

Cinema Shed
See extract from the film below.

A Geographical and Social History of Plants.

A Geographical and Social History of Plants.

Contributors to the day.

Contributors to the day.

Sketchbook Drawings

Sketchbook Drawings










Carved stone facsimiles of Rhododendron Ponticum

Floating the Lilies

Floating the Lilies
with poetry by Andrew Thatcher

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Extract from SW448292

Friday, 15 February 2008

The garden re-opens to the public, Feb 13th

Pink Tin - Folded Paper flowers & smelting kettle

Suspension of Disbelief - 13.8kg
Portland Limestone & rope

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Winter Update [2008]

A Place of Slow Conversation

Bare trees



red, white, pink.

Me, alone, frightening wood pigeons.

Fallen tree fern
nestling in mud
in this January sun.

Pink camellias
float in the smelting kettle
browning in murk.

Daff buds stretch for sun:
The jelly palm has survived again!

January Haiku by Andrew Thatcher

Friday, 16 November 2007

Autumn Update


The 30th of September saw Trewidden closed to the public for the winter season, we have had many conversations with people who came from down the road or from across the other side of the world; a rich addition to our experience that has informed our understanding of the role of the garden in people's daily activities. That there are less people means our own sense of the garden alters, how we might utilise the sheds and how we engage with the spaces of the garden is open to new agendas.
The foliage is dissipating to reveal the edges; the garden is not isolated, it is connected. The traffic crossing its borders is less to do with human visitors and more to do with the narratives posited by the exposed tracks of animals, the visual splendour of some exotics recedes and common indigenous flora presents itself. The leaf cover of the deciduous trees and shrubs lies scattered on the ground and the beautiful tangled structure of the branches frame lines of site through the garden and out beyond its borders. The sense that the borders of the garden are being crossed by visible and invisible agents adds another layer to its dynamics; a symbiotic connection to the surrounding historical, geographical and ecological landscapes gives Trewidden its distinct and delicate flavour.
Trewidden is an extraordinary place, requiring much consideration in order to maintain its uniquely defined yet porous presence. To become embedded within such a place, to develop a relationship with the people connected to the garden is critical to the realisation of meaningful encounters with the work we produce.

Jane is currently working in the windbreak area on the western edge of the garden, carrying out a series of drawings and developing a photographic record of the changes occurring there. This distinctive and wild area of the garden is based on a functional use of pine trees to limit the effect of westerly winds on the rest of the large and ancient tree specimens. It is a borderland space that holds a particular sense of how the garden relates to the surrounding topography and agricultural practices.
David is recording the working aspect of the garden and developing ideas with Laurie Oakes, who has a small apiary at Trewidden, looking at the pollen species collected by his bees as a mapping mechanism - A layered, textual understanding of the landscape in relation to plants [wild and cultivated], humans and non-humans.
We are carrying out a series of sound recordings taken during walks within and around the perimeter of the garden and continuing to experiment with temporary sculptural interventions. Currently a heavy schedule of maintenance work is underway with a focus on the removal of much of the Rhododendron Ponticum, a principle carrier of Phytophthora, a disease which can affect certain varieties of trees and obviously of great concern in a garden such as Trewidden with all its wonderful specimens. The Rhododendron wood is required to be destroyed on site and no material from the garden can be removed without being checked for the pathogen. The removal of this invasive species is providing the opportunity to reconsider new planting schemes in the cleared areas, to provide structural stability and visual impact in relation to the other flora. It is hoped that a participatory project may emerge to make charcoal from the cleared Rhododendron wood, a positive outcome from a serious and threatening aspect of globalised biodiversity.

Saturday, 11 August 2007

August Updates below.

The sculptures are molded collections of skeletal leaves fallen from the magnolia trees. Cast directly from one of the iron smelting kettles they are at once transparent and delicate whilst capturing the solid presence of the original bowls that are situated around the garden.

Fixed to the walling around the garden are five life-size bumblebees cast in tin.

The tin that has been used is from ingots being transported by the SS Liverpool which sank off the coast of Anglesay in 1863. Some of the recovered ingots have the Bolitho stamp on them and would have been smelted at the Chyandour smelting works on the edge of Penzance.

Medieval opencasting for ‘tin ore’ forms a major topographical feature within the garden – see the Tree Fern Dell and The Burrows. The waste rock from this early mining activity provides a great habitat for bumblebees, either as it lies in the sloping ground of the hollows or in the walling.

Sunday, 22 July 2007



During the development of Tend we discussed an interest in working with other art forms and research practices. We contacted The Writing Centre at University College Falmouth to seek collaborations with a writer or writing groups; consequently Andrew Thatcher, a novelist based in Penzance, came to visit us and talk through ideas. Together we have established a loose framework for interaction, providing a platform for Andrew to develop his new work using a Haiku format.

We are also discussing a possible audio project with Dr Mandy Morris from Exeter University.

Silver Bombus

Prior to casting in Tin, the wax bee has been cast in Silver.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Lode-ed Landscape – exposing the ‘currency’ of tin mining.

Trewidden – White Farmstead

Centuries have passed since individuals, groups and perhaps even families excavated tin ore from the ground that now sits within the boundaries of Trewidden garden. The residue of that activity - the discarded rock [pale porphyritic elvan, a granite with large crystalline structure and Killas, a sedimentary slate] - once lay in undisturbed, alternating horizontal layers punctuated by the narrow veins of tin ore.

Today we can wonder through what can only be described as a multiplicitous environment, created from a range of geological processes and time periods all exposed in one space. It is perhaps worth considering this when looking at the Burrows and Tree Fern Pit, these habitats or micro eco-systems that now support a host of insects, birds, exotic plants and weeds. I feel like I want to somehow disclose the delicate balance between stasis and disturbance, the symbiotic relationship between past and present, leisure and industry, mammal, invertebrate and flora.

The most common use of Cornish tin today [from stock piles and shipwrecks] is for jewellery, quite a shift from the vast industrial activity that supplied the world with the finest alloy base metal.

I am continuing my interest in the Bumblebee population and how the mine workings and use of spoil rocks for walling provide ideal habitats for them. I am working on a series of small sculptures that draw together the relationships between the tin industry as it is now and how it was in previous centuries. From the small medieval opencast hollows evident at Trewidden, to the massive expansion within Cornwall [of which the Bolitho family were integral] as the worlds principle supplier of tin to its gradual decline due to global competition. Having made a 1:1 scale bumblebee in wax I am working with St Justin jewellers from Long Rock near Penzance to cast a set of tin bumblebees. I will locate them in discrete parts of the garden, perhaps indicating current or previous bumblebee nests; shimmering echoes of human necessity, desire and ambition resonating with our evolving connectivity to nature. [DP]

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Thank You

Tuesday 10th July was Alison Clough's last day as head gardener at Trewidden. We would like to thank her for such wonderful support throughout the development and implementation of TEND. Alison's warmth, engagement with the project and her expertise has been a critical factor in the success of the project so far; her work with us will continue to be valued right through to the completion of TEND at Trewidden in January 2008.

We wish her lots of luck in her new job.
Jane & David.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

After Penone [hydro-meter]

A bamboo and wood structure fixed to the back of the walled garden. It tips up or down according to how water logged the wooden weight is.

Wednesday, 30 May 2007


The May Updates below represent a series of starting points so far established, responses to a whole range of material that we have experienced in the garden. We consider the work to be in the form of a 'bricolage', a reaction to what is available and occurring within the boundaries of Trewidden. We are creating a 'habitat' in which we can maintain a productive and valuable set of connections.

May Update 6

Moth catching and identification with the Cornwall Moth Group. We will be carrying out further collaborations with the group and member Laurie Oakes.

May Update 5

May Update 4

May Update 3

May Update 2

May Update 1

Sunday, 22 April 2007


A project initially looking at Bumblebee species in the garden. We will submit the records to BWARS & The Bumblebee Conservation Trust. We are also making films of the Bumblebees. The records and the film work are a means to look at the garden as an inter-related habitat or system which we, temporarily, are connecting with.

Monday, 16 April 2007

Bird Box by the Sheds

We think we have a pair of Blue Tits interested in this prime location.

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Pinhole Experiments [Jane]

Some initial trials with a home made pinhole camera in the walled garden.

Mirror Cube [David]

As an initial addition to our sheds I brought the mirror cube in to see how it worked in an exterior space. A bit of illusion and adds a certain mystery to how the space works.[NOW REMOVED]

Saturday, 31 March 2007

Subtle Grey and White

The shed and summerhouse are painted.

Monday, 26 March 2007

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Ready for painting.

Monday, 5 March 2007

The Sheds are up!

Recent images of ground preparation and Shed construction. Thanks to Phil and Jess for their work on getting the main structures up. Thanks to Toby [gardener at Trewidden] & Barry for helping to take down the sheds, collect and deliver them.

Friday, 16 February 2007

Shed No.2

Shed No.2 waiting to be dismantled at a house in Lelant. Both sheds can now be re-constructed at Trewidden.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Shed No.1

Betty & Ken Rickard in their garden with the summerhouse, it is now at Trewidden waiting to be re-assembled once we have prepared the ground. We will soon be collecting Shed No.2. The recycling of materials for Tend is an important environmental and narrative consideration within the project, we have acquired both sheds through the classified adds in the local papers. The construction of the sheds will form the initial focus for our project over the next few weeks. Thanks to Betty & Ken.

Monday, 5 February 2007

First day at Trewidden.

Measuring the ground area where the sheds will go.