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By The Cactus Corner: Garden Book Club

By Aliz Tennant | 19th May 2016

“Once you have one, the likelihood is that you will want many more.” – Garden Book Club, Volume 1

Garden Book Club is a collaborative project between artist and illustrator Jamie Mills and Megan Wellington that looks to explore the relationship we hold with plants. “We are creating an imaginary environment in which people’s encounters with plants are at the forefront of their mind. Within this environment we aim to reach out to all the people who have had an intimate moment with a plant, be it their own or whilst interacting with nature."

Garden Book Club in Print

Garden Book Club in Print

"We reach to everyone who has ever thought ‘this leaf needs dusting’ or who ever has Googled ‘I wonder if plants have feelings?’.”

Spread from The Garden Book Club

Spread from The Garden Book Club

Garden Book Club began its journey from a discussion about collages that involved plants and vintage erotica, “Much of the source material for the project stems from books, videos and photographs from the 60s/70s. This material would have been the primary source of instruction for those interested in the subject at the time and the level of detail within is particularly interesting; often written in a personal tone that hints towards intimacy between the writer and their plants. An abundance of this material is still available and holds a feeling of nostalgia and loss that seems pertinent in a time where the same information (and much more) can be freely accessed online.” With a shared interest in traditional forms of art processes, including printmaking and analogue books, combined with second hand books the project took form with Garden Book Club now having produced its first volume, and first newspaper edition.

A selection of design work

A selection of design work

The free newspaper explores this sense of nostalgia further, bringing the inspiration behind Garden Book Club to contemporary audiences in an accessible and fun form, “The newspaper is a seedbed for interaction with a wider audience who we are asking to collaborate with by contributing their own photos, stories and encounters. Initially the plan is for this to be a quarterly publication, but depending upon the feedback, this could become a more regular occurrence.”

The Garden Book Club Newspaper

The Garden Book Club Newspap

A collection of articles and features that adhere to the both the practical and holistic the newspaper is a balanced combination of knowledgeable and visually compelling, aesthetically providing.

The Garden Book Club newspaper can be found in various locations around York and Leeds including coffee shops, garden centres and book shops, as well as a few botanic gardens and galleries around the country. Garden Book Club are also working on Volume Two of the book as well as working on further print and film pieces, with a future exhibition of the project planned.

Vicit The Garden Bookclub's Website
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