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The Lost Japanese Gardens of Otley

Date uploaded: May 19, 2014

Working in collaboration with artist Harold Offeh, The Follies of Youth, a collective of young artists and curators, consider the cultural misconceptions resulting from the UK’s historic fascination with Japan. On Tuesday 27th May 2014 the 100-year old site of Otley’s Japanese garden will activate for an event, recalling the sites former spectacle and community. The event takes place in partnership with Otley Museum, The Japanese Garden Society and Yorkshire Gardens Trust.

The programme includes a presentation of archival photographs and talks that highlight the aesthetics of the Japanese garden and its relationship to the Yorkshire landscape. A new composition by sound artist Ryoko Akama will be performed in Otley Parish Church. Offeh’s new performance, Japamania, will take place on the site of the garden, bringing to life its different features buried beneath a century of rubble.

27th of May 2014, 6–7.30pm, Otley Parish Church

A wealthy landowner, affected with the craze for Japanese gardening, invited the Japanese Ambassador to luncheon, and afterwards (“London Opinion” relates) showed him round the gardens and greenhouses, keeping the Japanese garden till the last as a delightful surprise. When, after admiring the beauty of all the other gardens, the Ambassador was at last taken to the imitation of the gardens of his own flowery land, he held up his hands in enthusiastic delight. “Ah,” he exclaimed, “this is wonderful! We have nothing like this in Japan!” - The Yorkshire Evening Post – Wednesday 30 July 1913

A costume making workshop will take place in the Parish Room from 5.30pm before the main event at 6pm.

Harold Offeh's perfomance will include a short walk to the former garden. Please do not park by the garden site.

Japanese tea and Yorkshire treats provided.

Free. All welcome. Booking essential. Click here to book online or contact [email protected] / 0113 343 2718.

Supported by Arts Council England, Crossley Evans,  EU Culture Programme, Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society and Otley Parish Church.