One of Artcore’s objective is to provide a platform to implement the learning through volunteering and work experience opportunities in different available projects. As such, we had the opportunity to provide a week placement experience to two students who engaged and carried out some researches for the Invisible Boundaries Project.
This is one example of what the student discovered and learned about the project.
About the Invisible Boundaries Project
The Invisible Boundaries has many levels of engagement locally, for community members and artists, focusing on The Arboretum Park in Derby. The project engages the community in celebrating the history of the Arboretum Park and the visible and invisible boundaries surrounding it over the 175 years. Invisible Boundaries includes the celebration of the 175 years of Arboretum Park, in Normanton, Derby, which is the first publicly owned, landscaped, urban, recreational park in England.
The project has two main aims – artistic and public education along with an underlying theme of being good neighbours, the idea of neighbourhood, and of giving back to the community. The artistic side of the project engages sculptors and communities in connecting with celebrating the Arboretum Park and its history through the medium of Sculpture making. There will be residencies, talks, presentations and community participation activities and much more.
The Heritage side of the project will concentrate on activities such as themed walks, talks, research and historical discussions that will highlight the wonderful heritage of the Arboretum – botanical, historical, and architectural, highlighting the heritage of cultural change that has taken place in and around the Arboretum. A series of workshops in the Arboretum Park Orangery will be held by Artcore over the course of the summer 2015. In these workshops, all of Derby’s multicultural communities are invited to come, take part and celebrate the Arboretum.
The Invisible Boundaries Project Launch was held at the Orangery in Arboretum Park on Friday, 7th August 2015.Several artists, local councillors, community members and Artcore’s staff & volunteers gathered together to celebrate the beginning of the project, underlying the theme of being good neighbours, the idea of neighbourhood and giving back to the community.
Arboretum Park History
The Arboretum is of great historical interest and has a claim to fame of being Britain’s first public open space in the 19th Century, thanks to Joseph Strutt. Derby arboretum, also informally known as Arboretum Park and it’s famous for being Britain’s first public park. This is picturesque with a fine collection of trees.
The Arboretum was the first public park in Britain…..and it was a trend-setter overseas as well, for Central Park in New York was based upon the design of the Arboretum. It is certainly a place of great historical interest. The park forms the major part of the Arboretum Conservation Area designated in 1975, by Joseph Strutt. Contains two listed buildings, and it is included in the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens.
The Arboretum was given to Derby in 1840 by Joseph Strutt, a local cotton mill owner and the first Mayor of the reformed Borough of Derby. In his presentation of the Arboretum to the Town Council on 16th September 1840, Strutt made it clear that his motives were twofold: first, to provide an area for ‘exercise and recreation in the fresh air’ in an increasingly industrialised town; and second, ‘to offer the means of instruction to visitors’ by collecting and labelling a valuable collection of trees and shrubs. Arboretum Park. Strutt also saw the park as a kind of ‘thankyou’ gift to those people whose work had helped him to acquire his fortune. Work on the Arboretum commenced in July 1839, and was completed in time for the grand opening which took place on 16 September 1840. The occasion was marked by a parade from the Market Place in the centre of Derby to the new park. The park initially charged for admission, in order to pay for its upkeep. However, admission was free on Sundays and on Wednesdays (which had been adopted as half day closing in Derby). This mean that the working classes, who had limited leisure time and probably lacked the means to pay admission, could gain free access to the Arboretum when they actually had the time to do so; in effect, the park was paid for by those who had time and money to spare to enjoy the facilities. Free admission times continued to be extended until charging was finally abolished in 1882. The Arboretum was donated to the town in 1840 by Joseph Strutt, a former mayor of Derby and member of a prominent local family of industrialists. A noted philanthropist, Strutt was grateful to the working people of Derby for the part they had played in helping him and his family amass their fortune, and wanted to convey his thanks by providing a much needed recreational facility for a rapidly expanding and urbanising area. Strutt commissioned John to design the park, and Loudon adapted Strutt’s original plans for a botanical garden and pleasure grounds to his own vision, incorporating landscaped walkways.
About Joseph Strutt
Former mayor of the borough, the seventy-five years-old Strutt was silk merchant and mill –owner who, for a small charge, spend his house near the centre of town to the public on Sunday afternoons to view his art collection. Strutt and his family had been used to spending part of every summer at small estate of eleven acres about a mile south, on the edge of town it was this that he presented to his fellow citizens, suitably transformed, which became known as the derby arboretum.
The Arboretum is of great historical interest and has a claim to fame of being Britain’s first public open space in the 19th Century, thanks to Joseph Strutt. Derby City Council’s bid for funding to refurbish the Arboretum to its former glory has been approved by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
More than £5 million will be invested in the park to restore the two old lodges and to build new facilities and play areas for children of all ages. Every tree in the park has been examined by a specialist and recommendations have been made about what is best to do with each.
About 111 of the 600 or so trees in the park will need to be removed, either because they are being overshadowed by other trees and so are unable to grow properly, or because they themselves are overshadowing other specimens.