Watercress and Daffodils

I was commissioned by Dover District Council (DDC) to create an artist’s film and a series of drawings/monotypes resulting from my research into the history of Russell Gardens in Dover and its current use as a social space of work and recreation.

The project  wasdelivered with Dover Arts Development (DAD) by the Kearsney Parks project, a DDC project with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund Parks for People programme. See more here.


I loved every moment discovering Russell Gardens and doing my best to assimilate some of what Charles and I saw

Project blog

Feedback on film

The film took us so gently on a physical journey through the garden space, a mental journey through its history but also on an emotional journey – as we descended the space of the garden we explored some of the depths of what gardens and parks mean in times of sadness.  This beautiful film worked on so many different levels and it has fundamentally shifted the way in which I am able to experience and value Russell Gardens as made and continuing to be made by us all. (Diana Baldwin)

Thank you so much for your film – it was really quite something and will stay with me.  It encapsulated so much of the garden and Kearsney Court.  Thank you for a rounding off of a chapter for me.  I thought it all worked really well and the readings from the Mawson book and from the gardener were beautiful.   Were they your grandchildren playing in the water?  I was interested too in what the two architects said about parks and gardens.  

The video is lovely.  Beautiful images especially of the water.

Thank you so very much – I watched it this afternoon and cried all over again.  I enjoyed it in March but this was even better and it is a wonderful end to an era of my life.  I don’t how much was due to edits you had made, or whether it was seeing it for the second time, but it felt much crisper and sharper.

I keep watching your film and keep laughing and crying.  More and more I can understand what you and Joanna – say about the circles.  There is so much geometry of all sorts.

I absolutely loved the video. It was amazing and emotional for me to hear the voices of so many people that I worked with while developing the project and preparing the funding bid, especially Josie Harding, and Martin & Frankie, but many others too. It was great too to see present day use combined with voices from the past and I thought it was so exciting to hear new interpretations of the space, especially knowing that they are being shared more widely through the film. I particularly loved the shot of the submarine cruising on the lake!

The book

I have produced a book to accompany the film with essays by Karen Jones (University of Kent), Charles Holland (Charles Holland Architects), Philip Hutton (Architect) Richard Taylor (artist), Louisa Love (artist) and haikus by Ben Hunt. Please contact me if you would like a copy.

  • I met with Karen Jones today and she gave me a copy of the Watercress & Daffodils booklet. I just wanted to drop you a note to say how brilliant I thought it was! I can’t wait to watch the video now…
  • very happy to have contributed a short reflective essay ‘It Grows With Me: On Porous Borders’ to @clare_smith ‘s new book ‘Watercress & Daffodils’, published to accompany her beautiful film of the same name. A lovely, ruminative book with photography & haiku by @benjamin.a.hunt and excellent texts also from @charlesjholland @richard_taylor_artist_writer Karen R Jones, Philip Hutton, and of course dear Clare herself (Louisa Love)
  • This beautifully designed book is a wonderful addition to Clare Smith’s film of the same name. They are together an important legacy of the art in the park Kearsney interpreted project providing innovative and imaginative ways of engaging with Russel Gardens and the work of Thomas Mawson (Joanna Jones)
  • I met with Karen Jones today and she gave me a copy of the Watercress & Daffodils booklet. I just wanted to drop you a note to say how brilliant I thought it was! I can’t wait to watch the video now… (Jon Winder)
  • I’ve studied the book Igot from you and I found it interesting and exciting. (Janos Malina)