A natural living room of memories for The Dell

Photo by Faye Claridge © Faye Claridge Browse and license our images

From Saturday 23 April

The Dell Forest Garden, Southern Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon

A secret garden on the banks of the Avon has been transformed into a magical outdoor lounge, alive with the memories of residents of Stratford-upon-Avon. Artist Faye Claridge has worked with volunteers from Forest of Heart’s Green Therapy group to collect memories and co-create an atmosphere of wonder for The Dell.

The project is inspired by how the area’s many memorials sit within nature, echoing the unusual line from Shakespeare’s King John, Now my soul hath elbow-room, Act V, Scene VII.

Participants have co-created a spectacular living room where plants and flowers overwhelm furniture, layering over fabrics and scents that evoke memories, while lampshades and family portraits flutter in the trees overhead.  

The artwork is part of a wider project called The Dell Forest Garden, which is in partnership with Forest of Hearts.  

Read the book created by Faye Claridge that charts the journey of the participants, building confidence to encourage creativity.

About Faye Claridge

Faye Claridge’s artwork is rooted in issues of representation and belonging, with people-centred projects and events to explore ideas about group, national and personal identity.
Co-production is key in Faye’s projects, which currently include a National Trust commission working with farmers, a Warwickshire Record Office project with care leavers and refugees and an ongoing international collaboration with people in prison.
Her extraordinary socially engaged artworks have been selected for New Contemporaries (Liverpool Biennial & South London Gallery) and The John Ruskin Prize and exhibited widely, including at The Photographers’ Gallery, New Art Exchange, Towner Eastbourne, Compton Verney and with the Arts Council Collection.
Faye was shortlisted for the Helen Chadwick Fellowship with the British School in Rome and her first London solo show was awarded Time Out Exhibition of the Week. Faye is also an active parish councillor, volunteering to benefit her immediate community in rural Warwickshire.