So the big day for my first installation of the Knitted Garden dawned – quite literally, as it was a very early start! The van arrived at around 6am to pick up the many bags and boxes containing the thousands of pieces that make up the garden. My lovely husband Rob got up early before going to work to help us load up and in half an hour it was ready for the off, with me following on behind – destination The Thelma Hulbert Gallery in Honiton.
Arriving at the gallery I found quite a crowd awaiting my arrival. The wonderful Tim Russell who has installed the garden at many venues was ready for action alongside the excited Thelma Hulbert team, who couldn’t wait to start opening boxes full of knitted goodies.
Angela Blackwell, the Gallery Curator, had brought together a great team of volunteers and once we had planned the layout, everyone got stuck in setting out the various parts of the exhibition. We were very lucky to have been able to borrow Bob the technician from Bridport Arts Centre for the day. Bob had previously worked on the set up of the garden when it visited Bridport in 2012 and told us he was really looking forward to seeing how it had developed.
Everyone got stuck in and soon the garden began to take shape, growing as it does up the stairs and into the first floor rooms of the gallery over the 2 days of the installation. Luckily I had brought a sewing kit with me, as there were masses of repairs to do to dozens of flowers, many of which had droopy heads or broken stems. It was time well spent though, as you can see from the above photo just how spectacular the flower beds looked by the time we finished. Tim told me that it was the best they had looked for some time, with two of the marvellous THG volunteers working for a whole day to construct the beds. Also the rockery needed a fair bit of darning as the wooly base had a few holes, but looked pretty good by the time it was mended and loaded with plants.
It’s physically pretty hard work to install the garden, but so worthwhile to see how beautiful it looks and to experience the reactions of the volunteers as they unwrap each new item. The Thelma Hulbert Gallery is beautiful and I am so pleased that they were happy with the installation. I did my first Facebook Live video after the installation, so if you would like a virtual tour of the garden head over to our Facebook page.
So we are a couple of weeks on from the beginning of the exhibition and the feedback has been lovely. The exhibition is on until Saturday June 24th and it is free to enter. If you are down in Devon come and see us and tell us what you think!