A Foundation working in collaboration with The Southport Flower Show has invited artist Lisa Cheung to develop an offsite project as part of our Education and Outreach programme. Lisa's practice as an artist is multifaceted and she uses a variety of media such as drawing, sculpture, installation and photography. Her practice is also participatory as she is very much interested in people and how they interact. Generosity is also a major component of her work and she is perhaps most well known for her 'Public Feasts'. These one-off events see Lisa creating magical environments from lovingly prepared vegetables, which people are then invited to tear down and cook in communal woks.
Recently Lisa has also become the first artist in residence at the Museum of Garden History in London, where she has been exploring the archives and piecing together the stories behind the objects donated to the Museum. Investigating the notions of collecting, garden history and personal stories and memories, Lisa has researched and interviewed the many people who have contributed in some way to the archives and collection of the Museum. Bringing together the results of her residency, Lisa has produced an audio guide, which provided snippets of people's personal stories about the objects within the Museum.
For The Southport Flower show Lisa has designed a large outdoor sculpture called The Summer Palace. The structure of Summer Palace echos walled gardens, hidden retreats and tea pavilions, to create both public and intimate social space. The design of the sculpture is adaptable, and can change form and function according to purpose. The sculpture offers a social space composed of seating, shade and tea. A special tea will be brewed and served in uniquely designed cups.
The Summer Palace will also house 100 prized house plants belonging to different community groups and associations in and around Southport and Liverpool, becoming one large-scale, collective flower show display. Various groups will be invited to submit their special plant for display within the sculpture for the duration of the show. These plants will be contributions, and not submitted for competition but rather for the sheer pleasure of sharing their beauty and enjoyment.
Each group will be asked also to share their personal relationship to that particular plant and why it is special to them. These personal plant stories will be documented onto a set of limited edition teacups that will be used in the Summer Palace to serve a special tea to visitors at the Flower Show.
The Summer Palace will move to Greenland Street Cafe for an Autumn Garden Party in October 2007 which will coincide with a day's discussion looking at the historical relationship between artists and gardens.
For more information about Lisa Cheung and her work visit www.lisacheung.com
For more information about the Southport Flower Show please visit www.southportflowershow.co.uk