AboutRachael Adams / Bridgette Ashton / Max Bainbridge / Jackie Chettur / Annabel Dover / INTERNATIONAL LAWNS / Darius Lambert / Cathy Lomax / Alli Sharma / Alison Stolwood / Mimei Thompson / Jo Wilmot
7 November 22 December 2013
Opening times: Thur-Fri, 10.30am-5pm, Sat-Sun, 12-5pm
Preview: Thurs 7 November 2013, 6-9pm
Walk and Talk with Bridgette Ashton: Sat 9 November 2013
Transition Gallery presents Winter Garden at Sutton House in Hackney as the first in a series of new projects initiated by Sam Knowles with the National Trust and local not-for-profit organisations. Expanding the layers of history suggested by this Tudor property, and bringing into focus the courtyard garden, Winter Garden also connects with Hackney's historical nursery, Loddiges, which was once situated nearby on Mare Street.
Winter Garden takes its cue from the public pleasure palaces of the mid-19th Century where exotic, tropical flora and fauna were displayed in artificial conditions provided by elaborate glasshouses alongside other theatrical entertainments for the masses. The most famous nursery garden in Europe stood near Mare Street, close to today's Town Hall. At Loddiges, tropical plants grew for the first time outside their native rainforest. 'I fancied myself in the Brazils' wrote a visitor, in wonderment at the artificial tropical rainstorm inside the largest hothouse in the world.
Focussing on contemporary artificiality and fake environments, the artists in Winter Garden embrace the notion of a self-conscious spectacle in the remaking of nature. This excessive strategy acknowledges and exposes our ever-increasing desire for an elusive X-factor that is still able to engage not only our real curiosity, but also often our contempt.