Tatton Park – Cultivate and Celebrate

Christine-Wilcox-Baker-Mar-2010Cultivate and Celebrate: Treasures of the Kitchen Garden. Tatton’s artist in residence, Christine Wilcox-Baker, serves up five seasons of original work inspired by the Kitchen Garden and Mansion. 
28 March – 3 May 2010
This spring exhibition marks the culmination of her year-long residency at the historic estate in Cheshire East.

Entitled Cultivate and Celebrate: Treasures of the Kitchen Garden, Christine’s exhibition showcases a stunning range of work inspired by the relationship between Tatton’s Victorian Kitchen Garden and the Mansion house.
For Christine, a bean flower is as beautiful as a tulip, a potato plant in full bloom as pleasing as a rose. This perception of ‘natural’ beauty and the value we place on the food we grow and consume has been explored by her during the last twelve months. Christine commented “The Mansion is full of treasures – items to be valued, celebrated and looked after and this inspired me to also look at the treasures of the kitchen garden”.

And she’s been no couch potato over the last year!  Each season has brought new inspiration and as Christine’s familiarity with the garden and the estate has grown over the last few months, so has her intriguing body of work. Paintings, photographs, living artworks, fabric designs and egg tempera icons have all sprung forth from her creativity. Perhaps some of that Kitchen Garden productivity has rubbed off on her!      

Christine commented “This has been an amazing opportunity to further my own artistic growth.  Having access behind the scenes to vast amounts of hands-on knowledge and experience has enabled me to uncover ‘growing’ first-hand both metaphorically and naturally.  The whole experience has allowed me to ‘think outside the plot’ and I now have a wealth of ideas to develop further.”

Christine’s interest in art in nature developed when she undertook an M.A. in Art as Environment at Manchester Metropolitan University, completed in 2008.  Recent commissions have included a large scale installation, using natural materials, for All Saints Church, Daresbury (the ‘Lewis Carroll’ church’), to celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the birth of Lewis Carroll and a floating garden for Ellesmere Port Boat Museum.

Born and bred in Cheshire and currently living near Knutsford, Christine has been a frequent visitor to Tatton since childhood and has a real appreciation of this special place.
Cultivate and Celebrate:  Treasures of the Kitchen Garden takes place in the Mansion and Gardens from Saturday 27th March to Monday 3rd May (closed all other Mondays). Normal opening times and prices apply.  Christine will also be ‘in residence’ in the Mansion Kitchen on Sunday afternoons 28th March, 11th April and 18th April.
Christine’s residency has been funded and supported by: Arts Council England, Tatton Park Trust and Tatton Park.