The Rose Garden Conference
Saturday 23rd October, 10.00 (BST) 20.00 (AEDT), Online
Curated by Gabriella Hirst and Warren Harper, presented by The Old Waterworks and Metal, in conjunction with Focal Point Gallery’s ‘Tip of the Iceberg’ exhibition.
Since the forced removal of the Estuary 2021 commission ‘An English Garden’ from Gunners Park in June 2021 the artists and partners involved have been working to ensure that the ‘How to Make a Bomb’ project, of which ‘An English Garden’ is a part, continues to develop; maintaining a dialogue in Southend with the issues the project raises, such as nuclear colonialism and the ongoing impacts of British Imperialism. The silencing and shutting down of critical conversation is being countered with the creation of new spaces for discussion and art action.
In early September another iteration of the ‘How to Make a Bomb’ project opened as part of ‘Tip of the Iceberg’, a group exhibition at Focal Point Gallery. Accompanying this was a ‘How to Make a Bomb’ workshop and presentation on 12 September, to learn propagation techniques and discuss nuclear violence, botanical imperialism and the symbology of roses, focusing on British nuclear actions in particular. Overall the workshop participants grafted 50 new ‘Atom Bomb’ roses which are currently on display outside Focal Point Gallery on Elmer Square, Southend. These roses will be collected by the workshop participants after the exhibition, if you would like to make your own ‘Atom Bomb’ rose please contact The Old Waterworks.
We would like to invite you to the next iteration and forum of discussion for the ‘How to Make a Bomb’ project, ‘The Rose Garden Conference’. ‘The Rose Garden Conference’ will be a one-day online event of talks and screenings on the botanical and nuclear legacies of the UK, to continue the discussions that were silenced through the censorship of ‘An English Garden’. The ‘conference’ will bring together artists, writers and activists to share their insights into these histories and their ongoing impact today. Joining us will be artist Yhonnie Scarce (Naarm/Melbourne, Australia); activist and co-founder of ICAN, Dimity Hawkins (Naarm/Melbourne, Australia); Dr. David Burns (Royal College of Art, UK), Wayne Cocroft (Historic England, UK); Ceri McDade (Chair, BNTVA: the Nuclear Test Veterans Charity, UK); and Dr. Ros Gray (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK). Full line up will be announced very soon.