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Ceramic artist creates English flower garden

  • Date: 31 August 2011
  • Area: Midlands
Paul Cummins: English flower garden

Paul Cummins: English flower garden. Credit: Alan Fletcher

The project has received £40,000 from Arts Council England as parts of Unlimited, which represents Arts Council England's key contribution to the Cultural Olympiad. This ground-breaking Cultural Olympiad programme celebrates arts and culture by disabled and deaf artists on an unprecedented scale. 

Each bloom will be unique but will form part of the larger flower community. The flowers will be hand-thrown on a potter's wheel and will be attached to galvanised steel rods, ranging from 50 to 70cm in height, allowing the flowers to move in the breeze.

Paul (33), who has severe dyslexia, lives in Chesterfield. He attended Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Derby, studying architecture and craft. His current ceramic creations have been developed over the last five years.

Hardwick Hall in Chesterfield will open a series of exhibitions running throughout 2012. They will be held at specially selected venues across the UK chosen for their historical and social significance.

The exhibitions include:

  • The Secret Gardens of Sandwich, Kent: Tulips, May 2012
  • Chiswick Gardens, London: 2,000 wildflowers, May - June 2012
  • Blenheim Palace: 200 Delphiniums, June - September 2012
  • Houses of Parliament: 200 Tulips and 500 Roses, June - August 2012
  • Castle Howard: 1,000 Roses, June - August 2012
  • Althorp Estate: 1,000 Sweet Peas, June - August 2012

Sara Sanderson, Arts Council England's Diversity in Arts Practice Relationship Manager, said: "We originally awarded Paul £5,000 which he used to buy a kiln. This has allowed him to develop his practice and he has now been awarded £40,000 for the English Flower Garden.

"Paul's work reflects the unique way he interprets language and expresses himself through craft. His work will reach a wide audience and he hopes to change people's perceptions of craft and ceramics by having large exhibitions in beautiful locations."

Paul Cummins said: "I'm really excited that all my hard work is finally coming together in the opening of my first exhibition at Hardwick Hall."

The exhibition is set in the gardens of Hardwick Hall and can be seen from 24-30 August 2011.