Palm House, 2017
green oak, polycarbonate, plants, mud
Edinburgh Art Festival
Commissions Programme 2017: The Making of the Future
In the shadow of Edinburgh Castle and today managed as an urban wildlife reserve, Johnston Terrace was first established as a community garden at the end of the nineteenth century, as part of a network of green spaces which Patrick Geddes developed in Edinburgh’s Old Town, to bring much needed light, air and contact with nature into the lives of Old Town residents.
Inspired by the ideas of Patrick Geddes, and by research into the history of the Palm Houses of Edinburgh’s Botanic Gardens, the Palm House structure incorporates hand-carved anthropomorphic sculptural elements into a timber framed transparent structure. Accompanied by a mud oven, the project is conceived as a social sculpture, a space for production, and for sharing and exchanging conversation, plants, cooking, food and other activities that collectively invite exploration of the particular context and value of this urban wildlife reserve.
Throughout the festival, the Palm House played host to a programme of artists’ residencies, and a series of Forest School events, lectures and mud oven workshops.
Supported by the Scottish Government Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, EventScotland with additional support from Baillie Gifford Investment Managers and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.