Geocache: Hastings Contemporary - Secret Garden
Location: Warrior Square Gardens
Title: The Secret Garden
This cache has been created by Eastbourne Studio Pottery working with ex-rough sleepers who have been rehoused during the pandemic, through the Rough Sleepers Initiative. It is the start of a longer project supporting people to build confidence, develop skills and explore their creativity through sessions in printmaking, photography, painting and pottery.
Eastbourne Studio Pottery was set up in 2017 for people to explore working with clay to create functional, sculptural or experimental work, from complete beginners to experienced ceramicists.
The starting point was things we keep in our pockets. After experiments with cyanotypes, we created small clay tiles with impressions of keys and wild plants found in Warrior Square gardens, including Shepherd's Purse. This gets its common name from the heart-shaped seed pods, resembling the little pouches that were worn by medieval peasants.
Clay is a tantalising material, incredibly malleable and responsive the maker’s hand, it is almost unique in its ability to be transformed into an infinite range of designs. Our cache makes use of this material both in its disguise and reward to share some experiences of sleeping rough by the sea.
The group discussed what it feels like to have a place you can call home and how something as simple as owning a set of keys becomes a powerful symbol of being housed, worn on a lanyard like a talisman. Our cache uses this device to draw attention to the rough sleeper experience and questions how we take carrying keys for granted.
Selecting this place for our cache we made the link to The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, where a key found to unlock a hidden door leads the story’s characters to a place of healing.
Eastbourne Studio Pottery
When you find the cache, contact the pottery by clicking on the link and leaving your address and the subject ‘Geocache’ and we will send you a small package of clay with some instructions on how you can take part in our project.