Lancaster University

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Launch of “Floating Garden” On Lake Carter

03/06/2009 15:28:55

The Floating English Garden
The Floating English Garden

An art installation on a bamboo raft is to be launched on Lake Carter on March 9 to help raise awareness of how Bangladesh is being affected by climate change. Christine Dawson, an artist working in the University’s Chaplaincy Centre, has created the Art Installation entitled “The Floating English Garden” to highlight the country’s plight.

The International Panel on Climate Change has indicated that Bangladesh could lose 17% of its land and 30% of its food production to flooding by the year 2050. In rural areas of Bangladesh, especially during the monsoon, farmers have created a series of “Floating Gardens” to grow sustenance crops. She felt it would be interesting to show the anomalies of what we perceive as a garden in England and hence the idea of “The Floating English Garden” was born.

The launch ceremony will begin with a barbecue at the Chaplaincy Centre at 1230 followed by a procession from the Centre at 2pm down to Lake Carter, where the raft will remain until the end of One World Week. Proceeds from the barbecue will go to Practical Action, Bangladesh.

The Installation sits on a raft of bamboo which was built at a workshop run by Christine and former Lancaster University student Michael Newton at the Chaplaincy Centre, where it is currently on display.

The Garden is modelled on the national flag of Bangladesh, with a background of green artificial grass and a central red circle housing a “privet hedge” and roses. The Garden is surrounded by a picket fence and is dotted with garden furnishings and paraphernalia such as a wine glass, book, watering-can and a trough to collect flowers.

Christine said: “I want to show the contrast of what we do in a garden compared to the absolute need of the floating gardens in Bangladesh. There, land is so precious as it is disappearing year by year. Our lifestyles have much to do with this.”

To further make the connection with Bangladesh, everything in “The Floating English Garden”, is covered in jute – which is one of the most manufactured products in Bangladesh. Every English Garden need flowers and Christine ran workshops with the International Women’s Group to create jute roses for the Installation.

Christine’s main aim is to raise awareness about how our lifestyles affect other countries and to highlight that Bangladesh is at the front line of the effects of Global Warming.

Christine wishes to thank the University Estates Management, Gavin Howard of Recycling Lives, Preston and Steve Thomas, and Bamboo Source, Pilling, for donations of goods and services toward the making and launching of her artwork.