Artist residency at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales - October 15 - July 2016

Activity: Other


The 'flora' residencies, commissioned and curated by Oriel Davies Gallery as part of an ambitious multi-artist, multi-activities contemporary art project, 'flora' hosted Magali Nougarède at the National Botanic Garden of Wales in Llanarthne, Camarthenshire and Caroline Dear at Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre in Cwmbran, Torfaen. Both residencies offered distinct experiences for the artists and respective audiences. Each artist considered, in broad terms, the interconnections between people and environment with specific attention to the subtleties regarding site, habitat, sustainability, biodiversity, soil and plants, to generate profound and compelling ideas.

Known for her hugely successful international career as a photographic artist, French-born Magali Nougarède continually strives to explore inter-disciplinary practices. Her application for the Artist residency, demonstrated her ambition and passion to bring horticulture and art together and explore the possibilities held within gardening as a political activity. During the residency, she has embedded herself within the National Botanic Gardens of Wales, completing a course in horticulture. She says:

“My goals have been to acquire rigorous horticultural knowledge as well as giving myself the means to understand in some depth issues around sustainability and biodiversity before developing my practice further.

Too often perceived as a trivial activity or reduced to a TV makeover opportunity, gardening in the 21st century relates to key contemporary political questions including: health, food supply, climate change, sustainability, biodiversity, urban planning and social cohesion. In our current era of the green zeitgeist, where ideas of green lifestyles have been co-opted by corporate powers and marketing departments to sell more goods, what do buzz words such as ‘sustainability’ or ‘biodiversity’ really mean and how can they be implemented towards real environmental and community change? The National Botanic Garden of Wales as a center dedicated to plant conservation and diversity, offers an ideal microcosm to investigate local, national and global concerns.”
Period1 Oct 201512 Jul 2016
Held atOriel Davies Gallery, Powys, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Plant ecology / social ecology / sustainability / biodiversity / gardening as political activity