MOBIS: the Mobile Oasis
Avant-Gardening’s newest project is another collaboration with artist Lisa Cheung and explores new ways of involving a large community with arts and growing. For this project, Lisa has invited designer Sammy Delgado Escobar of Konvertible to design and build MOBIS the Mobile Oasis.
MOBIS is a new, modular work in several parts that acts as a hub rather than a self-contained growing space, thus bringing greater flexibility and movement to the project. Community spaces, private gardens and public spaces will become the growing spaces and residents will be invited to plant their own mini allotments according to their interests.
MOBIS consists of; a mobile hub or oasis, oversized scooters to move the components around the estate and mini allotments that residents will be invited to plant and tend. The oasis collects rainwater and also acts as a hub where workshops are held, mini allotments are displayed and the resident/gardeners come together to share and research information, share seeds and seedlings and take part in community focused activities.
The wooden, oversized scooters are inspired by vehicles in Congo that people use to move heavy cargo and will be used to move the mini allotments around Foxhill. The scooters can bring mini allotments to the oasis as well as transport them to other places where it might be possible to start a mini-allotment.
The mini allotments will be planted and tended by local residents according to their specific interests. Residents may want to grow herbs to add flavour to their food, grow scented plants for making soaps or bath bombs, or plant a mini bee or butterfly garden. Specifically grown mini-allotments could be transported to the local school during term time or could carry a colourful, sensory garden to a house-bound or elderly person on the estate.
MOBIS might pop up next to the mobile library, appear in the school grounds for gardening workshops, or outside the local church during film screenings/events. The scooters can also form a way of connecting the estate with the new development Mulberry Park, and the adjacent Combe Down community and could be ‘toured’ there. This will all contribute to our aim of getting the residents moving and interacting as part of the wider programme of animating the gardens and community spaces of Foxhill.
The project has been funded by Arts Council England, with additional support from Curo. MOBIS is being constructed at ART HUB STUDIOS (Woolwich, London).