Factory Garden by Katie Holten 

13. Apr - 13. Apr 14 / ended Void Gallery

admission free, all welcome

Garden Party / Launch of Artists Garden 6 - 8pm

Event | Multi-disciplinary | Northern Ireland

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Garden Party / Launch of Artists Garden

Factory Garden by Katie Holten

• Factory Garden, Courtyard, City Factory, North Edward Street, Derry.
• Launch and Garden Party on Saturday 13 April, 6-8pm.

• By appointment only 16 April – 2 May. From 3 May open during normal gallery hours.

“Some gardens are described as retreats when they are really attacks” said Ian Hamilton Finlay. A garden can be, after all, a private pleasure garden, or a public site for growing food. The difference is not always obvious. Factory Garden is an in-between site. Formed from the leftover space of adjoining factory buildings, it provides a microtopia - a place for public retreat, for community gardening, for office lunch breaks and a reflective space for contemplation. Factory Garden is Holten’s most ambitious time-based work to date, as the true potential for the project will unfold over years to come. Gardens, by their nature, are never finished.

The intention of the ‘Artists’ Gardens’ project is to reclaim disused or forgotten parts of Derry/Londonderry and create spaces which will be catalysts for reflection, imagination and innovation. There will be three garden environments in and around the City Centre and the Waterside. The works will be gardens in the widest sense of the word, artistic re-imaginings of the garden concept. Curator Gregory McCartney explains:

\"Derry/ Londonderry has a proud artistic heritage which this project will reinforce. It will indicate the potential of public art to be more that merely something to be looked at. The works rather will be experienced and will change over time reflecting how the city and its people change. Artworks tend to be static whereas the environments will change over time. Artists will be using natural, mostly local materials as the basis of the work to create an alternative to the traditional sculptural form of most public works.\"

This is a relational project which creates a context in which people can interact with the art/garden environment and with each other, facilitating new relationships and ideas. The ‘shirt factory’ in Derry has in local popular consciousness become an almost mythical place, its bricks and mortar filled with tales of camaraderie in adversity, humor and strength. The prosperity of the city relied heavily on the health of its shirt industry which employed more workers than all the rest of Derry\'s industries put together. The City Factory, which originated in Queen Street in the 1850s and further developed in the early 1900s to encompass Patrick Street and North Edward Street, played an important part in maintaining (at least for the owners) this prosperity by employing over 800 people at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Inevitably globalisation crippled the local textile industries and most factories closed and faded into mostly nostalgic creative reimagining that contrasted sharply with the empty shells and rubble that remain. It is perhaps suitable then that an Artists’ Garden project that has at its core an intention to reanimate a disused and neglected space has located itself within the confines of the City Factory.

Katie Holten: Biography
Katie Holten is an Irish-born, New York-based artist exploring the inextricable relationship between humans and the natural world. Working across an array of disciplines her practice examines the human desire to understand and control nature, focusing on conflicts between ecology and politics - inviting people to reevaluate their relationship with their surroundings. In addition to Factory Garden she is currently developing a public art project for Venice. Her solo exhibition at VAN HORN in Düsseldorf will open later this year. In 2009, Holten was commissioned by the city of New York to create TREE MUSEUM, a public artwork celebrating the centennial of the Grand Concourse in Bronx, NY. Holten represented Ireland at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003 and has had solo exhibitions at the New Orleans Museum of Art, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and Nevada Museum of Art, among other museums and cultural institutions in the United States and Europe. Holten was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for study at Cornell University (2004-2006), earned her B.A. in the History of Art and Fine Art at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin (1998), and studied at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin (1997).

You can find out more about the project at http://www.katieholten.com/factorygarden.html


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