Chelsea Fringe looks for landscape projects

Chelsea Fringe is calling on gardeners, landscapers and artists to enter projects for an event that is taking an increasingly international slant.

The left-field show running from 17 May to 8 June this year is due to officially launch on Saturday 18 January with a revamped website and call for more volunteers as well as design entries. The show is about "pushing boundaries", said director Tim Richardson.

"Chelsea Fringe coincides and overlaps with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show but is completely independent of it," he said. "The fringe is entirely powered by volunteers and we want more of them as well as projects for venues, which number around 30 so far."

Satellite shows were being hosted in Brighton and Bristol while Glasgow and Manchester were toying with running their own shows, he said. Vienna and Melbourne had taken up the challenge and Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Beirut and San Francisco were also looking at fringe events.

"Despite the international flavour most of our focus is on London. A big change this year is the fringe is divided into distinct groups:north, south, east, west and central London. We need volunteers but also projects – we are not short of venues.

"But it's hard to get projects when there's no funding. We have no sponsor this year but we do have a media partner – BBC Radio London – and can offer a good PR platform. I like the fact we can survive without corporate backing or logos."

Richardson said he had no target for number of projects: last year the fringe attracted 250 and the first show in 2012 drew 100. Big-name supporters are Kew and the National Trust, designers Cleve West and James Alexander-Sinclair and Garden Museum director Christopher Woodward.

The first fringe took place in 2012 and its inaugural programme included a peripatetic bicycling beer garden, a floating forest installation in Portobello dock, an aromatic "garden of disorientation" and pop-up community gardens.

"Building on the success of our first fringe, this year's event will feature a mixture of public spectacles, horticultural happenings and community celebrations. The fringe is about harnessing the excitement and energy about gardens and gardening."

Contact info@chelseafringe.com


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