Documents: Special Interest: Gardening In England:

Leading Artist Helps to Throws Light

on National Allotments Week 2012
by RHS
July 15, 2012

Chris Cyprus, one of the UK’s leading contemporary artists, has donated his latest work to the National Allotment Society to help raise awareness of its forthcoming event, National Allotments Week. The piece which was especially created for the event is inspired by early 20th century British artists including William Roberts and Clarice Cliffe.

Chris’ painting, entitled ‘Open Day’ will be seen on allotment gates across the country in the weeks leading up to National Allotments Week. Explaining further, Chris said, “I was approached by the Society, asking if I would consider designing an image to help with the publicity for the week, and because of my love of allotments and what they stand for, I couldn’t say no.

”Allotments are fascinating places, full of real characters all with stories to tell. I love the idea that allotments are microcosms of the way we live and the way society works. Every time I paint a picture of an allotment I feel I take one step further to into this rich and textured world.”

Chris who works out of his studio in Lancashire is a self taught artist; he first honed his skills painting northern landscapes before turning his talents to depicting allotment life. A plot holder in his own right, Chris’s fascination with painting allotments started with the humble garden shed. He has been showing his work since 1999.

National Allotments Week takes place between the 6th and 12th August 2012. Local allotment associations up and down the country are hosting ‘Parties on the Plot’ to help galvanise community support for the allotment movement and in turn safeguard sites from the prospect of development. With over 35 events planned throughout the week, ranging from BBQs and plant stalls to cream teas and children’s festivals; the week will showcase the wider benefits of allotment gardening to all.

A recent survey conducted by the Society found that 74% of its members are worried that their allotment land will be sold off and redeveloped in the future; while the Society itself receives hundreds of calls a year from allotment holders looking for advice on how best to safeguard their plots.

Donna McDaid, National Secretary for the National Allotment Society, explains, “Unfortunately in this day and age, it is too easy for landlords to dispose of allotment land without realising the huge benefits they provide to individuals, communities and the environment. And since the Localism Act has come into force there is now an even greater need to galvanise the interest and support of local communities, especially as planners see allotments as prime development land. So please join us for a ‘Party on the Plot’ and let’s show the nation how fantastic and indispensible allotments are.”

For more information on National Allotments Week, which is run in partnership between The National Allotment Society and National Allotment Gardens Trust, visit www.nsalg.org.uk For details of Chris’s other works see www.chriscyprus.com

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