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    Chelsea fringe festival 2015. Get involved!

    The 4th Chelsea Fringe Festival is now accepting ideas for 2015 projects and prospective ‘fringers’ should contact [email protected] with ideas for submission. Registration will open in January at www.chelseafringe.com.  The festival is a celebration of all things garden, landscape and environment related and involves community garden groups, individuals, artists, poets, restaurateurs, museums, galleries, schools, hospitals. In fact, anyone with an interest in gardening can get involved. The 2015 Festival will run from May 16 to June 7.

    This year there are ‘satellite’ Chelsea Fringes planned for Melbourne, Milan, Nagoya [Japan] and Henley-on-Thames (as well as a clutch of other UK towns), in addition to Brighton, Bristol, Kent, Vienna and Ljubljana.  When asked about the Fringe, Festival director Tim Richardson said, “When the Fringe began I always envisaged it could be a national or international event, but that side of things has grown much more quickly than expected, to our delight and astonishment. In fact in the 2014 Fringe there were as many events outside London as there were in the capital. The idea has clearly struck a chord with people. We have been constantly amazed by the inventiveness and drive of Fringe participants and are now actively looking to encourage new participants as well as those who have been in the Fringe before”.

    If it’s on-topic, legal and interesting, then the chances are it can go in the Fringe. There are no selection committees, judging panels or medals. The Fringe encourages new ideas and new ways to explore the amazing world of gardens and gardening.  The Fringe is growing year on year from 100 events in 2012 to over 250 in 2014, but the most important factor remains the quality and quirkiness of the projects.

    Fringe goers can look forward to 22 days, four weekends and one Bank Holiday Monday bursting with exciting gardening projects and events. The 1st event to register for the 2015 Fringe is Drawing Squares of Georgian London, a close and unusual look at three of Bloomsbury’s squares and gardens.

    Visitors will have two opportunities to enjoy this event on May 16, from 2pm to 5pm and May 17 2pm-5pm.   Led by two specialists, this three hour workshop will offer an unusual twofold approach to looking at, thinking about, and using urban parks and gardens.

    The meeting place is Bedford Square Gardens, then a walk to Tavistock Square and from there to Brunswick Square. At each site, Tom Gretton will talk about the ways that the square gardens were constructed and maintained for use by their early residents, and about the ways in which the square evolved from an expression of the communal life of the city into a space of private recreation and visual pleasure.  This will be followed by an opportunity to draw, with tips from painter Gilly Hatch.

    Another exciting confirmation is the Espacio Gallery in Bethnal Green, which has signed up to the Fringe for the 3rd year running. From 19-31 May the gallery will play host to approximately 18 artists with a mix of paintings, original prints, sculpture, mixed media and textiles.


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