Category Archives: Art

Our Hidden Gardens

In Summer 2016 The Hidden Gardens embarked on a pilot project that brought together participants from all of our programme strands with some others who had never visited the Gardens before. They embarked on a 12 week programme  of activity that centred on arts and creativity, horticulture and the environment and health and wellbeing.

Allotmenting, Ceramics, Foraging, Cooking, Walking Mindfulness and spoon carving were some of the activities tried, and Artist Ewan Sinclair worked with the group, producing a series of beautiful digital drawings which were collated into a keepsake publication for participants.

Ewan’s images can be viewed on the project blog: ourhiddengardens.tumblr.com

Our Hidden Gardens
‘Potting On’

 

A Winter Solstice

A winter solstice_Allan Hughes 2240 x 2040

Allan Hughes, one of our dedicated gardening volunteers, wrote a piece of prose inspired by seasonal beauty of The Hidden Gardens.

Entitled ‘A Winter Solstice’, it is our pleasure to share it with you:

A Winter Solstice

The Shortest Day

A winter mist silently shrouds the Hidden Gardens. The still white cloud quietly cloaks the sleeping settlement. The air is cold, fresh and moist.

High up, a crow’s caw cuts into the sky as the diffuse glow of morning light begins to permeate the slowly rising haze.

The shimmering shadow of a returning fox briefly disrupts the calm; then fades. The quiet returns.

As dawn gradually breaks, groups of nestling bushes and shrubs awaken with the rustling of rousing wildlife.

Trees stretch with a concertina of balletic branches praising the arrival of the new day. The clinging mist finally releases and ascends, leaving a glistening layer of silvery white frost settling on the emerging pasture.

The delicate blades of grass sparkle in the morning light.

At the far corner of the extending lawn, the solitary figure of a Ginko tree stands tall and proud like a wise tribal elder. Its branches spiral upwards to the heavens. The surrounding congregation bows reverently in anticipation of the winter solstice.

Then, all is hushed. A single track of tiny prints zips through the crisp, white frost. All focus on the track as it makes its way towards the bottom corner of the lawn. Towards the Ginkgo Tree. The footprints come to a halt.

A little Robin Red Breast stands boldly on the cold, glittery grass, arching its head, to address the rising giant.

A loud silence fills the air. The little Robin hops closer, perching on the tree’s knobbly roots. Its tiny beak chirps……the silence gets louder……the Ginko considers the wee postulating creature……the silence intensifies…..then…at last, all is well…harmony prevails as the Robin Red Breast takes off, spiralling upwards, playfully twirling in and around the giants welcoming branches. All is bright.

The Longest Night

It’s Dusk. A single snowflake drops delicately downwards towards Earth, floating precariously with the light breeze, hovering over thousands of orangey-yellow iridescent lights. A dark, imposing, organic shape
appears amongst the opalescent illuminations. As the little snowflake descends, the contours of the mysterious formation slowly expand, revealing a vast landscape surrounded by an abundance of diverse
dense foliage. On entering the grounds, the snowflake gravitates towards the long strip of land. Downwards it falls, steadily descending, prepares to land, then settles safely on the glistening grass.

The little Robin perched up high, shivers as it quietly looks on as more and more fragile crystals parachute by, filling the air with a kaleidoscope of colliding snowflakes forever freely falling. The wind picks up. More
and more frozen flakes are boisterously launched into the air in a sustained onslaught. Myriads of sparkling fragments hurriedly jostle for space, propelling bursts of snow into every nook and cranny. No corner is spared. Then, when the biting gusts of wind, at last, relent, the hail slows up, until, eventually, the invasion finally ceases. The quiet returns.

The Robin peeps out from its shelter. All is clear. The landing is complete. The slumbering garden is now thickly blanketed by soft, pure, white snow. All is calm.

A full moon illuminates the newly colonised terrain. The lunar light diffuses a cool, serene glow over the opulent gardens. The undulating snow softly cloaks the clusters of huddling bushes. Branches bend with lilting leaves. The undergrowth is hidden out of sight. As the last snowdrop falls to earth, the tranquil evening moonlight blesses the winters night. The long, untouched lawn elegantly emerges evenly covered, edge to edge, with a thick coating of soft, fresh, snow. Up above in the clear night sky, the Ginkgo tree is eloquently silhouetted by an aurora of celestial light, as a constellation of stars twinkle brightly in celebration of the solar resurrection. It’s the longest night.

The long silent night encloses in on the world. The Earth is at rest. The garden is sound asleep. The evening is still, quiet, at peace.

Reaching upward, the Ginkgo tree embraces The Heavens. The surrounding ensemble bows as the ethereal cycle unfolds. The tree’s outstretching branches herald the Transformation of Time.

It is a time of change. Seasons change. Dark gives to light. Night to day. What was dormant, will now grow. As the night passes and eventually draws to a close, the passage of Time will bequest its gift to Creation. The hidden world will awaken to the unveiling of the divine light of dawn, radiating with the essence of the suns’ warming presence, that shall transfigure a new beginning, a new day, a new life.

Bike-powered Film Screening at The Hidden Gardens

Flyer for our twilight bike-powered film screening
Flyer for our twilight bike-powered film screening

Thursday 23 October, 5-7pm
The Hidden Gardens
Free!

Join us for a twilight bike-powered film premiere, followed a discussion and home-made soup, at The Hidden Gardens

Produced by local young people, these short films depict community events that took place in The Hidden Gardens over the summer: our Mandela Celebration, and the Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival. The screenings will be followed by a lively discussion over tasty homemade soup, made by our Cultural Cookery volunteers!

The young film makers have captured the atmosphere and significance of the two recent events: our Mandela Celebration, a celebration of volunteering; and the Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival in which 500 young people from across the Commonwealth performed in Tramway and the Hidden Gardens. The films have common themes of ‘welcome’, ‘friendship’ and ‘peaceful togetherness’.

The discussion will include time for us all to reflect on the impact of the ‘call to action’ launched at the Mandela Celebration to “Pledge 67 minutes to your community through volunteering”. We will be asking what are the needs of the community that volunteering can fulfil, what creative ways there are to use volunteers, and what action people want to take next. We hope you can join us for this fascinating event.

Please note: This is an outdoor event, so please wear warm clothes
Booking is recommended. To book, please email administrator@thehiddengardens.org.uk

Recreating The Hidden Gardens

Beautiful watercolour of the chimney by a member of the Round About Art Group
Beautiful watercolour of the chimney by Maryel, a member of the Round About Art Group

There are many beautiful parts of The Hidden Gardens, and we love seeing people take photos of all the flowers and wildlife in our wee space.

This summer an art group visited The Hidden Gardens and recreated some of the sights. We love this watercolour by Maryel – it feels gentle, and communicates the peaceful atmosphere of The Hidden Gardens beautifully.

Have you drawn, painted, photographed, embroidered, sculpted anything from The Hidden Gardens? We’d love to see! Email blog@thehiddengardens.org.uk with your creations.

Guest post from Young Film-Maker Charandeep

Our young film-makers are working with the footage they’ve taken at the Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival and Mandela Celebrations, and we’re looking forward to sharing their work with you later in the year. Here’s a guest post from another of our young film-makers, Charandeep.

The experience of working with this project has been really great so far. I have been really excited to learn to interpret and convey values through the medium of film, something which is so relevant to my volunteering at the Glasgow Gurdwara.

My favourite part so far has been meeting the young people from Scottish Ballet and Singapore and learning about how they communicate to each other through dance.

The thing I’m really looking forward to is the editing process – that’s the bit that really interests me. To be able to formulate a 15 minute film from hours of footage will be a really exciting process. I want to use the time remaining to be taught by our mentors how to use what can be complicated software, like Final Cut Pro – it will be really great.

Bringing all these areas together has been the Hidden Gardens. The Gardens have been the core of the whole project – it’s our meeting space, social space, work space and relaxation space! It really has the power of bringing people together. A true gem of a space in Glasgow.

Guest post from Young Film-Maker Thierry

One of the young film-makers Thierry talks about his first impressions of The Hidden Gardens.

It’s been such a great experience working at the Hidden Gardens as I didn’t know anything about the location before. The Hidden Gardens has such a beautiful external space and when it came to filming it was nothing but a wonderful adventure. When you think you have discovered it all there is more to explore, more to capture on camera, and more to discuss with your teammates.

This filming experience taught me a lot about the importance of planning and preparing. The garden generates such a fun, friendly, and relaxing environment where everyone can collaborate and learn something new.

Thierry

Young Film-Makers welcome dancers to the Hidden Gardens

Some of our film-makers taking footage
Carol from Scrumptious Productions and some of our film-makers taking footage

Our Youth Film-Making Project began last week, with our young film-makers greeting 11 dancers from Singapore, on an exchange programme with Scottish Ballet.

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Once introductions were made, everybody split into groups to either take a tour of the Sanctuary Gardens, or make their own delicious shortbread.

Some of our gingko-leaf shortbread - it didn't last long!
Some of our gingko-leaf shortbread – it didn’t last long!

The dancers will be participating in the first ever Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival, taking place at Tramway from Thursday 10th July. It’s all shaping up to be a really exciting event!

Amanda

Some delicious chapattis being prepared
Some delicious stuffed parathas being prepared by our talented local volunteers