A Summer of Culture, Community and Creating Together

17 May 2022

The Slow Burn Project

Building more than just a pizza oven

For the past five weeks Cultivate has been part of a very special project in collaboration with artist Natasha Rand from Creation Generation. Natasha has been working with children from the charity PROMISEworks in a creative pizza oven building project at ARK in Egwood.

The project has, so far, involved a series of creative play with clay, wood and willow and team building the first stages of the pizza oven including cement mixing, creating the cob, brick laying and considering size and design. 

The weekly workshops are held at ARK’s beautiful woodland area surrounded by nature and therapy animals, just some of many highlights to this creative health and wellbeing project for Cultivate. A celebratory community Open Day at ARK on Saturday 25 June 2022 will reveal the oven, and include a performance of Whispering Willows by Wassail Theatre Company. 

Read more on our Cultivate home page here.

Cultivate Food and Arts Trail – Save the Date! 

In collaboration with The Somerset Food Trail 2022

Supporting nature-friendly farming
15th-24th July 2022

Arts and food having an impact on communities in Somerset this summer!  

Cultivate is delighted to be collaborating with The Somerset Food Trail for 2022, bringing an arts dimension to the programme. The Trail celebrates the best, locally produced food, with a special emphasis on Somerset’s more regenerative and ‘nature-friendly’ farmers and food producers.  

From biodynamic vineyards to community-funded food forests; organic cheesemaking to rare breed pigs, apple orchards, aquaponics and cider making; buffalo mozzarella to milk-based vodka; restaurants, pubs and independent retailers – as well as artists and performers. 

The aim is to put a spotlight on Somerset’s smaller-scale, nature-friendly farmers and artisan producers and using the arts to give visitors a better understanding of where food comes from and the many benefits of buying local.  

The arts and food trail will include an offering from the Cultivate project of family shows, visual arts workshops, poetry, storytelling, and music to tell the local food story. It will be a celebration of food, arts and community. We'll be sharing all the dates and details on our What's On page and our Take Art Facebook page, so make sure you follow us!

For more info on the Cultivate/Take Art collaboration read here.

Spring Reflections: The Banners of Chard 

End of project celebration

On Friday 29th April the Cultivate project collaborated with Somerset Art Works to celebrate and share the completion of the Banners of Chard Project. As part of the Culturally Chard Spring Festival the event was held at the Guildhall with over 300 visitors dropping by during the day. 

Local families living in Chard engaged in participatory workshops with SAW artist Jenny Mellings which were held at ARK, Egwood. The kitchen garden, farm animals and landscape provided inspiration for the artwork and images, which were featured on some of the banners. 

Children from Manor Court School engaged in a Harvest Festival Day at Magdalen Farm last September, experiencing apple-pressing, feeding the chickens, exploring the vast gardens, and thinking about food miles and food waste. Jenny worked with the children back in the classroom to explore these themes and used different techniques and materials to draw and paint. 

The celebratory event saw some of these families return to see their work on display. The children’s artwork had been beautifully crafted into the fabric of the banners, and it was heart-warming to see some identifying their illustrations.

Cultivate used local high street producers, Barleymows Farm Shop, Saraiva’s Portugese restaurant and Eleos Coffee Shop to provide a delicious range of cakes. There was a great sense of community and coming together to celebrate creativity and food with music from Tim Hill, dance and the fantastic banners.

The Banners of Chard will be on display again at The Guildhall, Chard on the 22nd and 23rd July, at the Octagon Theatre in September/October for Somerset Art Weeks Festival, and after that they will 'go home' and become part of the collection at Chard Museum. 

They really are a sight for the senses and stunning pieces of art. Look out for the Cultivate water jugs and a nod to Perry’s Cider, along with Roxy the horse from ARK and vegetables the children got to sample at Magdalen Farm. 

Thank you to everyone involved and the team effort involved in this project.

www.culturallychard.org - Community-led cultural activity celebrating Chard's historic town centre.

‘Culturally Chard’ is the Chard High Street Heritage Action Zone cultural programme, funded by Historic England, Arts Council England and the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

Photography: Richard Tomlinson