Bursting from the Slumber

April 2022

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park

Grewelthorpe, North Yorkshire

Contributors:

Harrogate College/ Roundhay St John's Primary, Leeds/ Outwood Academy, Ripon/ The Arts Collective, Rural Arts, Thirsk/ Pottery Pals, Harrogate/ Public workshops, Harrogate/ Don Olliff, Chris & Lynn Thomerson, USA/ Staff & family from Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park

Watch our interview with the Yorkshire Post

In 2019 I was asked to create a cascading installation of ceramic Meconopsis (Himalayan Blue Poppies) for the Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park in North Yorkshire. The work was delayed by the Covid Pandemic, so in January 2022 we brushed off the designs and dived straight in!

27 workshops

450 people

Youngest 3

Eldest 91

Half a tonne of clay

1.3km of steel rods

80m² installation

The poppies were handmade through free to access workshop sessions at local schools, colleges and community centres, allowing each poppy to be unique; from the different sized and shaped hands that formed the clay to the mark making used to personalise their creations.

Designing this project in 2019, the idea of a global pandemic shutting down the world was still only to be found in the pages of a sci fi novel. As such, the sculpture has taken on a greater meaning than I could have ever imagined. A symbol of re-emergence and the power of community, with tactile clay workshops providing space for people to relax and socialise again. Each poppy has been personalised by its maker; messages of freedom, names of family and friends, and those they have lost. As an artist, to be able to facilitate such a positive and healing experience is humbling.

"We are more than excited to be seeing this project come to fruition after a

2-year delay due to Covid. Anna has done the most amazing job designing, creating and coordinating this large installation and we want to say a huge thank you to all those who contributed to deliver such an incredible piece of art.

The Himalayan Poppies we grow in the garden are always well received, with this new installation reminding us of their mystical blue beauty throughout the year."

Will Roberts, owner of the Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park

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