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Sustainable public art for Sunken Garden

Funded on Spacehive 2 July 2021 Delivered 30 November 2021

Impact data and claims within this report are provided by the project creator and have not been independently verified by Spacehive.

Sustainable public art for Sunken Garden

Margate Festival CIC By Margate Festival CIC

Margate NOW & the Sunken Garden Society are joining forces to commission innovative, functional and sustainable public artworks for the Sunken Garden, a unique biodiverse outdoor space in Westbrook.

Westbrook Delivery stage

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This project was funded on 02 Jul 2021!

The Sunken Garden is the focal point of this year’s Margate NOW, an annual festival producing arts and culture for communities across Margate. This year is more important than ever to promote community action through our event as we bring people out from isolation.  The sculptures will act as an invitation for our community to reflect and meditate on the past year. Nature-inspired, whimsical and fantastical, the artworks will help make our miniature Eden an even more enjoyable place to meet, meditate, socialise and play. We are working with outstanding artists - Nicolas Deshayes, Lindsey Mendick and Olu Ogunnaike - to design and create a gate for the Hermit’s Cave, a compost bin and a bench. So as well as being functional, the designs will grow out of our aspiration to bring people together again - combatting loneliness and celebrating the mental health benefits of time outside in nature. 

What we'll deliver:

  • Creation of a storage facility in the Hermit’s Cave, which will be closed by a gate designed by Nicolas Deshayes
  • A compost bin for the Sunken Garden, imagined by Lindsey Mendick
  • New, bespoke seating created by Olu Ogunnaike
  • A logo and signage for the Sunken Garden Society, designed by Molly Pickle
  • A noticeboard and a website for Sunken Garden for visitors and users to keep up to date with news

Why it's a great idea:

The Sunken Garden Society was formed to bring love and life back to the Sunken Garden, which had become abandoned and overgrown. The group of dedicated volunteers has been restoring this free outdoor space to make it more beautiful and welcoming not just to visitors, but also to bumblebees and wildlife. We're keen to welcome and train more volunteers as part of this sculpture garden project. This collaboration between two local organisations dedicated to nurturing creativity and nature provides a unique opportunity for the garden to be better equipped, to integrate art into its ecosystem and create new forms of interaction with visitors and users of the Garden. It further offers the artists a rare opportunity to bring function into their work and a unique permanent public setting for it to exist in. Key to the project is the creation of a sustainable and considerate dialogue between art and nature, and the continued provision of a welcoming and soothing refuge for everyone.

Steps to get it done:

  • May: crowdfunder commences
  • June: artist draw up plans and specifications for delivery of each functional sculpture
  • 30 June: crowdfunder ends
  • early August: projects ready for delivery and entering production
  • mid September: works delivered to Sunken Garden and installed
  • 23 September: works in Sunken Garden for press day
  • 25 September: first day of Margate NOW 2021: Sunken Ecologies

PHOTOGRAPHY by Heather Tait " Margate NOW and Sunken Garden Society teams at the Sunken Garden" Information about the individual commissions: Dover-based artist Nicolas Deshayes will create an ornamental gate for the Hermit’s cave, inspired by organic motifs and cast in iron. Playful and gut-like, the gate will protect the mysterious Hermit's Cave, while serving as storage for the garden. Margate-based artist Lindsey Mendick will make a fantastical compost bin, which cannot contain what is happening within itself. All the juicy parts of decomposition, the parts that we are so desperate to hide as they remind us of our own demise, are on show. London-based artist Olu Ogunnaike will create a bench made of all the species of wood native to Kent. Their names and place of origin will be etched onto the metal frame. Significantly, the Sunken Garden is one of the rare places on the Margate coastline where trees are found.

Location Westbrook

About the space

Sunken Garden, Royal Esplanade, Westbrook, Margate CT9 5EJ


Thanet District Council

How will the money be spent?Total £27,575

Gate, compost bins & bench design & production - £15,800 (57%)
Noticeboard, website, illustrations & logo design - £3,591 (13%)
Contingency - £2,321 (8%)
Project management - £2,240 (8%)
Groundwork & signage - £1,575 (6%)
Other - £2,049 (7%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. These costs have been confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified.

Gate, compost bins & bench design & production
Noticeboard, website, illustrations & logo design
Project management
Groundwork & signage
Other Read More
  • Spacehive fees
  • Transaction Fees
  • VAT


This project is enabled for overfunding. If the project hits its funding goal before the end of the campaign period, any extra funds raised will be spent (in order of priority) on:

  • family activities
  • talks and walks programme
  • live music

Total £27,575

Our Volunteer List

We're currently looking for people to offer skills and time to develop our project! Check out the list of what we need below and then use the 'Volunteer' button to the right to get involved.

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