The Garden Caretaker at Herlev Asphalt Factory

Writing workshop in the Garden Caretaker's Greenhouse. The work with Desire has already come a long way.

What happens if we listen to the place before we develop it? In the beginning, there was nature around Herlev, Denmark. Then farmers came to cultivate the land. Next, the land was taken over by an asphalt factory for several decades. Now the factory is closed, and family homes are being built.

From spring to autumn 2024 five selected artists take turn as Garden Caretakers and conduct arts-based research, set up exhibitions, arrange landscape walks, hold workshops, etc. in the new residential area, with the aim of connecting people with the original nature of the site.

The first Garden Caretaker is author Helene Johanne Christensen. In April she held a writing workshop in the Garden Caretaker's Greenhouse - a dome established in March 2023. Have a look in the YouTube video and see the tv programme - and meet our Desire partner NXT at the site. NXT is a communication and innovation bureau branding and developing in a world of media, arts, and rebellion.

"The New European Bauhaus aims to invite, among others, artists into the green transition, which is quite radical. From the EU side, there is talk of a crisis of belonging. This is precisely the cohesion that must exist in a society where we know our neighbours. We will try to create life and community. Our proposal for a way to do that is Garden Caretaker, where artists are Garden Caretakers – a new character in society that stimulates the relationship between citizens, places, and nature, so that you know the species you share places with. We do this through art, through stories, through senses, through imagination - as in the writing workshop we just held - and through interaction and experiences with the landscape we inhabit," says Madeleine Kate McGowan, Artist and Speculative Designer at NXT.

Learn more in our poster and in this short video at YouTube

The TV station TV 2 Kosmopol in Copenhagen has visit the greenhouse. See the program here and meet the Garden Caretaker, Madeleine and CEO at our partner organisation DAC Kent Martinussen.