End of the World Garden is a two-acre forest garden and horticultural facility in Cornwall UK, cultivated over the last fifteen years by artist Paul Chaney. The project opened to a limited public in 2016 as a platform for durational transdisciplinary research exploring dark ecologies, late capitalist land politics, and post collapse agrarian futurisms. The site hosts a programme of residential seminars, public events, practical workshops, and artist's residencies.
EotWG is situated five miles from Falmouth in Cornwall, UK. The site is fully autonomous for energy and water. A mix of traditional and perennial horticultures provide raw materials for on-site catering, and biofuel planted thirteen years ago provides site-grown fuel for cooking etc. A selection of agricultural buildings house educational/workshop spaces, and camping facilities allow visitors to engage in a year-round programme of activities.
Land use, food security, and the impact of shifting geopolitics are pressing contemporary issues challenging traditional relations between the rural and the urban. Framed by late capitalist lifestyle concerns, there is a developing focus away from urban centres onto the regions, driven by a growing awareness of sustainability issues within agricultural production, and the disintegration of urban social structures under the strain of property speculation.
Underpinning and overshadowing these effects, potential catastrophic collapse of social and ecological systems resulting from anthropogenic climate change throw the rural into stark relief. When global production/distribution systems break down, for many there will be no choice but to return to what is left of the garden. The ‘countryside’ can therefore no longer be seen as a retreat, utopia, or site of romantic contemplation; a rethinking of rural space will play a crucial role in conceiving possible futures beyond and through our unfolding crises.
EotWG hopes to provide a dynamic space in which to develop new thinking and practice, to open up dialogues between a local hub and wider international academic and art communities, and to instigate a new relation between local site and global anthropocenic discourse.
Inclusivity, learning, and participation are important elements of the EotWG ethos. Far from simply providing another anonymous institutional space, EotWG will invite visitors and contributors to actively engage with the site, living off-grid during events, participating in seasonal activities under the guidance of experienced horticulturalists, and contributing to food preparation and outdoor cooking under the guidance of professional chefs. This hands-on approach will provide the experiential ground for ongoing transdisciplinary explorations, a combination of theoretical and practical engagement.
Paul Chaney – director, lead artist (paulchaney.co.uk).
Field Notes – curatorial collective based in Falmouth, Cornwall (fieldnotes.org.uk).
Bram Thomas Arnold – performance artist and educator (bramthomasarnold.com).
Dominic Bailey – chef/restaurant manager specialising in locally-source wild food.
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Please note EotWG can only visited by appointment.