This year Gravesham Borough Council has chosen to support three artists by awarding them “Make it” Arts Grants so they could develop and to create five installations inspired by the ‘Bloomin Lovely’ Festival.
The artworks and installations are located in the following areas, and information on each of the artists can be found below.
- Gravesend High Street Heritage Sign – Flower Power by Liz Bylett
- Town Centre Benches – When all at once I saw a crowd by Mona Whitton
- Milton Chantry – Flowers that heal by Nicola Flower
- New Tavern Fort – Guns and Roses by Mona Whitton
- New Swan Yard Hoardings – Wouldn’t it be Lovely by Liz Bylett and Follies Artworks
Nicola Flower – Milton Chantry ‘Flowers that heal’
From 24 July to 26 September (Weekends Only 12noon – 5pm)
Nicola Flower is a visual artist, her work explores the human condition using narrative, identity and objects. Nicola experiments with a wide range of mediums including textiles, illustration, performance and film.
Nicola often works alongside groups of people who have a direct input into her art work, projects where she has used visual art to engage communities and enhance wellbeing, include; The Lost Room; Making It Girl, Blankets, The Folding Room, the IN-SITE project and Playground.
For Gravesham Blooming Lovely festival Nicola is making a textile hanging for the Tudor room at Milton Chantry, the theme of the hanging is ‘Flowers that heal and pollinating bees’. The hanging is inspired by the Chantry’s 700 year history as a hospital, place of religion, Inn and barracks. The work will evoke a sense of healing following our collective experience of the current pandemic, healing is enhanced by our engagement with creativity, whether we are viewing art or making it.
Gravesend textile groups are embroidering fabric bees which will be added to Nicola’s hanging. Nicola will also be at Milton Chantry during the summer to talk about the hanging and her practice.
You can find more of Nicola’s work at www.nicolaflower.co.uk
Liz Bylett Follies Artwork
New Swan Yard Artwork (20 June to 30 September)
Heritage Flower arch (20 June to 30 September)
Liz is passionate about the expression of colour and texture to empower, inspire and heal. Dedicating thirty years to the creative make up and face and body painting industries, Liz found herself without her usual creative direction during the pandemic and missed the joy that sharing colour in the community brings; she spent her lockdown days exploring new artistic genres including, glass, silk, canvasses and huge works of batik art.
Liz loves community, teaching and sharing art including curating the yearly “Living Art Show”.
For this local project she has brought together some other artistes from her industry Sarah Smith, Claire Harris and graffiti artiste Mark Hook to help create this beautiful depiction of colour hope and community to bring joy to share with all in Gravesham.
Guns and Roses in the Fort Gardens (mid June to end of September)
Town Centre Benches (mid June to end of September)
Mona Whitton is a mixed media artist, who works in a variety of different disciplines, from textiles, to clay, to metal, she loves to push the boundaries of the materials she works with. Having travelled much of her life, she constantly draws on her experiences of the many countries she has visited. Most recently, a visit to Canada has inspired a series of works which focus on the natural world and our impact on it. These pieces seek to remind us to stop and enjoy the natural world.
Mona believes that art should be created with the public, not just for the public so has worked with local school children from the Chantry Academy to “design” flowers which are included on both the benches and the sculptures. The poetry running through the pieces reflects the joy of a world awakening from the harshness of winter, coming alive and coming together to revive and replenish and, with the ever-present bees, tie the pieces together.