Thought I’d add some photo’s of the Botanical Illustration ‘Information Boards’ I’ll be doing at the park.

These were etched onto perspex using a dremmel, very hard work and I couldn’t use my hand for hours after. May well look into laser etching instead, depends on cost I suppose.

The Boards are meant to be clear, I didn’t want big colourful signs detracting from the nature park. I felt if they were transparent people would have to get up close to actually read them. May hide some around the park too, if people know there are 30 but can only see 20, will it make them want to find the others I wonder?


Hmmm – now I am using this project as an excuse to buy chocolate…

In fairness they are butterfly shaped chocolates AND you can plant the packet which has been impregnated with candytuft seeds, to grow a plant that attracts butterflies…fabulous.

Have to thanks Sacha in work for spotting this one.



The last two weeks have been eventful. I have had meetings with two members of Wirral Council, both very helpful. Pointing me in the right direction for smaller funding pots until we can get the problem of land ownership sorted.

I have also met with Merseytravel arts Development Officer who loved the Butterfly Park and has asked me to submit some designs and ideas for the local station to see if we can link into the park (next door) through the underpass, showing the way to the park for the passengers.

I’ve also met with three artists so far, I am wondering if I should maybe approach one or two more to have a more visual impact.

The three artists so far are all keen to be involved though, I have chosen them for their particular practices.

Karon Mc Gunigall who is thinking up some ideas at the moment that may involve chrysalis hanging in the trees.

Emma Kemp whose work involves some amazing rope installations, she wonders how feasible it will be in the park and how visible it will be once the leaves have started to grow etc. However, she has now been on site and can visualise it, so is going to work on some ideas.

Hayley Parfitt who isplanning on some brick installations linking into the brick making that has historically been produced in New Ferry; her work will make a series of insect habitats in the form of multi-storey flats.

My own work for the site begins with a series of information boards but each will be botaniacal illustrations etched into perspex so that the visitors have to get up close to the plants and animals in order to read the boards. They will dotted around the park, some in quite secret places, I like the idea thta people have to really try and seek them out if they want to learn about the species.

A second project will be to make some seating areas. One lonely bench on site at the moment. By using railway sleepers from the original site (the park was once the railway sidings) I’ll make some contemporary benches to live on site.

I will produce more work as the months go by but that’s me for a start.

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So this is the first step of what will hopefully be an amazing project to work on. I say hopefully as the Butterfly Park is presently under threat of closure.

The Landowners (Brock plc) want the land back, they won’t say why but they want it back – even though they knew it was a nature reserve when they bought the land 10 years ago and have previously been big supporters of the local environmental network. It happened quite suddenly and there was a lot of publicity about the planned closure which has led to a great deal of local support and to the Local Council stepping in with a Compulsory Purchase Order.

In the interim waiting period of haggling and appeals, my residency has been set up. In a bid to try and make the park more visible,(and secure the site as a permanent nature reserve) I will be curating a temporary sculpture trail and series ofart and nature based workshops over the summer months.

Following the summer, I hope to be continuing my research, forming a visual archive of the Park and working on proposals for an on site Visitor Centre. This may be whilst based in a local empty shop where we can set up a temporary visitor centre and also use it as an artist base engaging with the local community over the months that the Park is closed to produce a body of work that can be used in any future funding applications and will lead towards an annual art trail and a final dissertation and installation in 2011.

I’m hopeful…..

If however, the Compulsory Purchase Order falls through and the unthinkable happens that the Butterfly Park is closed I have to have a back up plan.

This plan (though I hope will never be needed) is to continue the archiving process and work with NFRAG (New Ferry Regeneration Action Group) holding the workshops in other local areas of interest. The final dissertation and installation will be a historical reference and memorial of the Butterfly Park.

But I’m hopeful…..

That will never have to be the case.

The Butterfly Park is an amazing sanctuary in the middle of a vastly populated and sadly run down urban area, it could be such a fantastic tourist site bringing in lots of new visitors with their money to spend in local shops, pubs and restaurants. Being a part of this fight has become so important to me, to save this small piece of beautiful and peaceful land will undoubtedly take over my life for the coming months and years.

And this blog will be a (hopefully engaging and interesting) record of my residency here.