Abundance Newsletter, January 2024

New W4th Plinth – Sonic Serenity: Chiswick Bridge and The Infinite by Giovanna Iorio

Abundance London unveiled the latest artwork for the W4th Plinth, to an appreciative crowd on Saturday 13th January 2024. It will take pride of place on the embankment wall on Turnham Green Terrace for the next 6 months.

This new artwork is a spectrogram, a graph that makes sounds and voices visible. The artist, Giovanna Iorio, says she “captured the inner voice of Chiswick by blending natural sounds recorded along the Thames with a reading of the poem The Infinite by Giacomo Leopardi. This artwork suggests the possibility of harmony between nature, poetry and urban life, inviting viewers to explore the connection between sound, poetry and the environment. It represents the vibrant vitality of Chiswick, offering a captivating portrayal of the intersection between human expression and the natural world.”

The spectrogram also includes a sound file, One minute of green, accessible via a QR code on the information panel next to the W4th Plinth. People can listen to poets and artists from around the world chant the word green in their mother tongue “evoking a new beginning for human beings and their relationship with nature.”

Giovanna is an Italian poet and artist who moved from Rome to London in 2017, and now lives in Brentford. This artwork, which shows Chiswick Bridge and flower-like dandelion heads, blends photography, sound, poetry and prose. She is also the founder of the Poetry Sound Library, an interactive archive with more than a thousand voices of poets from past and present.

With many thanks to all those who helped on the day, including Harriet Benton Events, Chiswick School for music, Rory Ferguson and Steve Nutt who instal the artwork, and the artists who participate in this project. We would like to thank the UK Shared Prosperity Fund for the funding.

Bird and Bat Box Workshop

Following the installation of the W4th Plinth, we held a workshop to create top of the range residences for some of our local wildlife. With many thanks to the volunteers who ran the (rather chilly!) workshop and to the participants who created some fantastic houses for our local birds and bats. We have a few left over, so if you would like one for your garden, in return for a donation to our work, please get in touch info@abundancelondon.com.

Bulbs from Jacques Amand

We received a very generous donation of surplus bulbs left over at the end of the planting season from top flower company Jacques Amand. You can catch them during the season at the Chiswick Flower Market, and many a local household is currently enjoying their extra-spectacular amaryllis bulbs.

So if you have seen lots of well-wrapped up people with cold hands, with their butts in the air, planting out late bulbs all round Chiswick, this was the reason. Come spring and early summer we should all be drowning in beautiful colour thanks to this wonderful donation of thousands of bulbs.

We filled or topped up many of the Abundance gardens – Beaconsfield Gardens, the Library Beds, the Sutton Court Road tree pits, Heathfield Terrace Triangle, Oliver Close/Thames Road, A4/Sutton Court Road junction, the Bridge Garden, Turnham Green Terrace piazza, and we even created a new garden outside the Lamb Pub on the High Road. In addition we supplied bulbs to our sister green organisations including: the Chiswick High Road beds with the Flower Market, the Bat Corner group in the Gunnersbury Estate, West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society for the raised beds outside Gunnersbury tube, Harvard Hill Park, the Chiswick Cinema terrace, the Grove Park Group, the Strand-on-the-Green Association and the Hounslow Interfaith Group which will plant them over in Osterley.

Asian Hornet lookout

This insect has arrived from the Continent (so much for Brexit keeping out unwanted immigrants…). So far it’s been spotted in SE London, Kent and Essex, but maybe coming to a garden in Chiswick pretty soon. It looks set to spread if we can’t control it, and it has very serious implications. It preys on all bees, wasps, moths and butterflies, and threatens to seriously impact all our pollinators. Without pollinators, there will be no fruit, nuts, wine or beer.

The Asian Hornet also stings, and the sting can prove fatal – 50 deaths in France so far.

One of the most important times to spot them is in spring when their nests can be sorted. Check out how to ID them and where to report your findings here.

Best wishes

Karen & the Abundance Team

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