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Facilitators and Cultivators

Cultivators at the Common Field site, 2023.

Kieran is a gardener with the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and started working with Grand Union and The Growing Project in 2019. He’s worked across six of the project sites since then and now supports weekly sessions at St. Anne’s Hostel, The Common Field, and Floating Garden.

Matthew is the Programme Producer at Grand Union and has an educational background in wildlife conservation and design. He’s a gardener who attempts to build complex systems of substrates, plants and animals (including humans) across the sites he works in. He believes in caring for gardens and people in unison as a radical act which can be a vital tool in when working toward social change.

Exodus is a British-Jamaican multidisciplinary artist, educator, and writer whose practice centres the relationship with self. Observing the results of fractious domesticity, despair and passion, their art tends to appear as questions of self-actualisation and the role that religion & spirituality play in that journey to enlightenment. Based between the Midlands and the north coast of Jamaica, their art exists alongside their educational role. With themes of care, tenderness, and reimagination at the core of their practice, Exodus uses gardening, text, filmmaking & installation to further explore indigenous thought.

Jenny is a maker, grower, and performer with a passion for ecology and gardening. They have recently completed their degree in Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences at the University of Birmingham where, alongside their studies they worked on the Grow with Joe Community Garden.

Sarah is an artist specialising in performance, sensory exploration, food and facilitation, her work fosters creative connections to nature and between people. Previously Sarah has worked with MAC, Flatpack Film Festival, and The Birmingham Rep theatre.

Chloë is a chef and creative facilitator, working at the intersections of food, gender, and joy. She currently runs Verbena, a restaurant in Stirchley, and Women in Hospitality, a network to support women and people of marginalised genders across Birmingham. 

Chloë is creative producer living in Birmingham. Their experience spans the creative and mental health sectors, from which they have developed a trauma -informed practice. Chloë brings this the exciting variety of work they do which engages with nature, creativity, and care. They are interested in being an interconnected human and living in ways that depart from capitalist, patriarchal and colonial ideologies

Joanne is an artist and co-director member of Modern Clay, a co-operative ceramics studio in Birmingham. Her artistic practice is sculptural, working with clay, plaster, plastics, metal, as well as using text and image as materials for making objects. Her work interrogates relationships to objects: ideas of worth, ownership and production, and how they are absorbed by bodies and through technological interfaces.

Sammie’s practice explores environmental politics and the complex relationship humans have to organic space. Through investigating environmental philosophies she questions the relationship between human existence and the natural world. In her work she explores our own individual agency and why we need to stop othering ourselves to begin re-engaging with natural surroundings. Sammie experiments with the boundaries of photography, questioning the place that the photographic arts have in the political world and how audiences may relate to the work.

Kate is an artist, musician and gardener nestled in a passion for connecting nature to people in their hometown of Birmingham. Kate has worked across a few different sites as part of The Growing Project.

Ashley joined Grand Union’s Growing Project in April 2023 bringing varied experiences, from I.T. to photography. He believes that all these aim to help to create a nicely rounded person who could best contribute to the aims of the projects. An interest in Sustainability has also helped Ashley in understanding the Growing Project’s aims. Ashley describes himself as a thoughtful and happy person looking to contribute in fun ways.