Artist brings performance piece outdoors

Hilary Kneale in action

Hilary Kneale in action

First published in News

DOZENS of people gathered for two very different artistic performances at a community outdoor theatre at the weekend.

Barracks Lane Community Garden, in Oxford, opened its doors to artist Hilary Kneale, and Oxford Brookes MA student Charlotte Kaye.

About 40 people enjoyed performances at the mini amphitheatre.

Dance artist Ms Kneale, pictured, gave her first Oxford performance of Coat, which tells the story of the elements and the oceans over wild and urban places.

And people were able to have a go at Ms Kaye’s participatory work, Portable Shrine, which involved a combination of dance and charcoal drawings that look at light and darkness.

The award-winning garden is open most weekends and has been used for a host of events, courses and children’s parties, but this was the site’s first outdoor show.

Garden trustee Annie Davy said: “We had beautiful weather and it was a really lovely use of the garden. I think it went down really well, we had fantastic feedback from people.”

Ms Kneale, 59, from Oxford, has previously performed the piece at Coventry University and London’s Embankment.

She said: “It was absolutely wonderful and a great privilege because it was in among all the plants.

“It is the most wonderful restored environment and such an amazing thing for community use.”

Residents in Barracks Lane, and nearby Kenilworth Avenue and Cumberland Road, campaigned for more than four years to turn the contaminated dump behind their homes into a usable space.

It eventually opened in 2007 after the community raised the £10,000 needed to decontaminate the site.

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