Stuart Charles Towner in plea to sponsors for help to fund first Chelsea Flower Show garden

Hampton Court Flower Show best in show winner 2015 Stuart Charles Towner has made a plea to potential sponsors to help his realise an ambition to design a show garden showcasing a unique art and music national project.

The designer is seeking multiple sponsors for sums between £50,000 - £100,000 to bring a design dedicated to sculptress Barbara Hepworth to the May 2017 RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Former Hambrooks designer Towner has had his show garden accepted by the RHS for the event but his sponsor dropped out at the last minute.

The ‘Conversations With Form’ show garden is inspired by the work of sculptor Barbara Hepworth with music created by the composer and conductor Leo Geyer who works at the Royal Opera House as a Cover Conductor for the Royal Ballet. The garden will uniquely include a performance space for dance and music, featuring a recent score by Geyer commissioned by the Hepworth Estate and presented by Tate St Ives.

Partners and supporters include Tate St Ives, The Hepworth Estate, Morley College and Hadlow College of which Hadlow have pledged £25,000 to the garden.

Designers Towner and associate Bethany Williams were winners of gold and best in show at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2015.

The garden will feature a sculpture based on music and sound by Sheila Vollmer. The fusion of music, opera and ballet will be performed within a specially designed pavilion created by architects Tim Evans and Liz Lane of StudioEvansLane by Constella OperaBallet, the world’s first company to synergize the power of opera and ballet.

There is the potential to create a legacy garden in a venue of the sponsor’s choice.

Leo Geyer’s composition inspired by the work of Barbara Hepworth was first performed in the presence of the Hepworth family, at The New Art Centre in June 2015 to open a new Hepworth exhibition. The Tate St Ives then commissioned a second composition, performed on the 40th anniversary of Hepworth’s own garden at Tate St. Ives in April this year.

Towner has worked on a wide range of projects from small urban gardens to large-scale commercial projects, with more than 10 years’ experience in the industry. He has won awards from BALI and APL awards as well as two RHS medals.

His design work is based upon and inspired by traditional Arts & Crafts ideals while pushing boundaries and looking to the future; a blend of old and new that sit in perfect harmony with the property, site and the very fabric of the wider landscape.

Towner said: "The garden is about pushing boundaries and looking to the future. Britain has such a rich history in all fields of the creative arts ripe for being developed and enhanced for the future.

"Hepworth was a true genius and master, creating unusual and outstanding works of art that are timeless and never loose their place or become irrelevant. As a garden designer this is one of the most important things to me, the creation of spaces that grow, evolve and never become irrelevant.

"Conversations With Form is not just about the physical garden, it is a celebration of collaboration. The successful blending of skills from garden designers, architects, a composer and a sculptor."

#SGD Member Fiona Cadwallader is also looking for sponsorship for her artisan Chelsea 2017 garden, which has been accepted for the show.


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