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Artists net Chelsea Flower Show Commission

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Artistic duo Fiona Campbell and Nick Weaver,  worked together on ‘step in stone’, an ambitious art in quarries project in Somerset, 

They have now been commissioned by multi gold-award winning landscape designer Sarah Eberle FSGD to create two of the focal pieces for her RHS Chelsea Flower Show Artisan Garden this year.

Created for Viking Cruises, the garden is inspired by Cambodia’s floating gardens and artisanal fishing techniques in the Mekong River region, following Sarah’s journey on board the Viking Cruises Magnificent Mekong. Fiona is creating a large canopy inspired by traditional fishing nets and silk weaving. Nick is making a lounger styled on a traditional fishing boat.

The 7 x 5m garden is entirely water with a small deck leading to the boat/lounger and cantilevered canopy suspended above. The beds follow the style of the region and contain an eclectic mixture of fruit, flowers and vegetables. Harvested hazel, other reclaimed woods and a plethora of woven wire, silk and found materials will all be used to harmonise with the planting.

Fiona, trustee of Black Swan Arts in Frome, was approached by Sarah after seeing her installation piece ‘Lichen’ at the Maureen Michaelson Gallery stand at GROW London last year. Fiona said, “The four metre textured fishing net/canopy I’m making by hand incorporates fine woven copper wires, twine, silk, wool and other surprising found materials like fish skeletons! It’s a long process and an exciting prospect – I’ve not produced work for Chelsea Flower Show before. There will be technical hurdles, but I’m looking forward to weaving and layering it up. I’ll also be creating some wire fishing baskets as props.”

Nick’s involvement follows on from their previous collaboration. He said,  “Working with Fiona last year on ‘step in stone’ was an intriguing and very rewarding experience so I am delighted to be working with her again on this.

“I love Sarah Eberle’s concept for the garden. Sarah’s photos and stories of the area and traditional boats are really interesting and have inspired our designs. The boat/seat is a fascinating challenge and satisfies my desire to make unique and unusual pieces. I can’t wait to see it all come together at Chelsea.”