23 May 2019. Seventeen women from Richmond EAL Friendship Group joined in an Art Picnic at the Kitchen Garden in Marble Hill Park, a session that combined art, gardening, English and other languages and a good deal of both learning and fun. The event was organised by Environment Trust and led by Ruth Durant of Richmond EAL and artist Sasa Marinkov. Our hosts were English Heritage and the Marble Hill Revived project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. 

Meeting for the Art Picnic. Marble Hill House in background. Photo: Ruth Durant.

Explaining the art and sharing ideas.

After introductions and taking in views of Marble Hill House we gathered at the Kitchen Garden where Sasa inspired us with ideas for making art in this glorious setting. The links between gardening and art have been established through the ages and Sasa quoted from Alexander Pope, the poet and regular visitor to Marble Hill House in the eighteenth century: "All gardening is landscape painting." Thursday morning is a regular volunteering day at the garden and so art picnic participants and garden volunteers were able to meet each other and share appreciation of the park and garden. David from the Marble Hill Park rangers team was a great support, bringing hot water and chairs for our convenience and helping the organisation of the day throughout. Many thanks to Ruth for organising the lively and engaged group of visitors, to Sasa for her artistic inspiration and to English Heritage for opening up opportunities for people to enjoy new ways of experiencing the park.

Photo: Ruth Durant

Ruth Durant captures the moment