Marston community gardening

marston, Oxford

Botanicals Marston.jpg

description of artwork

As part of the ‘From the Ground Up’ exhibition at Arts at the Old Fire Station artist and activist Laura de Moxom will document the garden, allotments and forest garden and the people who tend it.


Laura will also use the community garden as an inspiration and a resource for exploring more environmentally photographic processes. This will be experimental work potentially including pinhole photography, solargraphy, anthotypes, soil chromatography and plant based developers. 


The community gardens, allotments and people who come together there will be the subject of the images and the plants will be used in their creation. This would be practice based research, demonstrating my wish to be sustainable in my practice, as well as the potential of plants and people as they create a beautiful garden together. 


Our art project will reflect that at Marston Community Gardening – we are all connected to each other and our environment. The earth, soil, plants and eco-system nourish the local people –providing shelter, beauty, food and even medicine. In turn, the local people can work together to nurture and enhance the nature around them. The photographs and cyanotypes will use the plants and soil that nourish us – to create our temporary images. A snapshot of the short time we are on the planet – to leave it in a better, not worse place for the next generation 


The results will be photographs, but not all as people would traditionally expect, and some that will fade over time. 

description of the project

Laura will be spending time in the garden to document the beauty of the space and working with its community to share the messages they would like people to consider in relation to their work and the connection between environmental activism and gardening.


The resulting pieces will be made using the cyanotype printing process. The relevance of this alternative photographic process is that historically it has been used to document botanical specimens. However, the use of this medium has further relevance to the exhibition as it is one of the lowest environmental impact photographic processes, using innate iron-based chemicals and water development. 


Alongside this, Laura will use the garden as an inspiration and a resource for exploring more low environmental impact photographic techniques, as part of her journey in developing an arts practice that is kinder to the planet. The results will be photographs, but not all as people would traditionally expect, and some that will fade over time.

Artist(s) Information: 

Laura de Moxom:



about the artist

Laura de Moxom is a mixed media alt photo artist and activist. Laura’s practice explores memory; its attachment to objects and the materiality of photographs, using a visual language of historic alternative photographic techniques, image transfer, assemblage and paint. Concern over the misalignment of the inherent toxicity within the light sensitive emulsions used in alternative photographic processes, and Laura’s political values, has led to research into sustainable methods; in order to continue exploring these mediums within her practice.


She advocates for change through her practice, creating beautiful protest. She is passionate about intersectional climate justice and frequently performs with the Red Brigade as part of Extinction Rebellion demonstrations. Alongside her arts practice, she works as a cultural manager facilitating community-led arts projects that have tangible public facing outcomes through a process of co-creation. Her practice involves facilitating discussions around political issues through the arts in community settings with children, families and adults from a range of backgrounds.

Inspired by her activism she is currently exploring sustainability in relation to her practice, thinking about environmentally friendly materials and processes.

about the group

Marston Community Gardening (MCG) was established in June 2018 with a view to supporting and fostering local engagement in gardening, planting and sharing food and resources. MCG enables volunteers to participate in projects to plant and cultivate trees, hedges, fruit, vegetables and flowers in Marston’s green spaces, road sides, schools and allotments for the benefit and well-being of local residents – humans and wildlife! In addition, group members share materials and practical support for gardening.  We work with all our local groups to make a strong, caring and resilient community. In the last few years we have started a community chicken coop co-op, refill station, eco-group and energy club and work closely with Marston Forest Garden. We are looking forward to a huge community tree planting day in November 2021 in grounds around Oxsrad/Oxford City FC sportsgrounds. 



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