idle women launch crowd funding campaign

Published: 03 April 2018

Launch: Monday 19 March 2018 

Campaign runs until 4 May 2018

Models of Validation advisory group member Rachel Anderson and Cis O'Boyle - idle women- announce crowdfunding campaign to buy land for the UK’s first physic garden for women and girls in Nelson, Lancashire.

idle women’s physic garden will be dedicated to medicinal herbs that women have used for centuries, from menstruation to pregnancy and childbirth, and beyond to menopause and old age. The garden will be planned, designed and developed with and by local women in collaboration with female experts in herbalism, garden design, women’s health and horticulture. Women will be able to learn practical skills including architectural landscaping, building (for an outdoor classroom and compost toilet) and gardening, as well as participate in seasonal workshops on natural health using herbs for culinary and medicinal purposes. The garden will also be a peaceful retreat where
women can take a break from daily routines, make new friends or simply have space for reflection.

Approximately the size of four tennis courts - 2500 sq ft the physic garden will be developed on land adjoining the Leeds to Liverpool Canal in Nelson Lancashire. Moored by the garden will be the narrow boat, Selina Cooper, idle women’s floating arts centre, which from 2016 to 2017 traversed the canals of North West England hosting artists, the women’s refuge Humraaz and many other artists, organisations and communities of local women.

The Selina Cooper* is named after the renowned Suffragist, social reformer and campaigner who lived in Nelson. Equipped with a physic garden library, the narrow boat will provide a unique indoor space for women to cook, rest, keep warm and learn in during the cooler months of the year. Rachel Anderson and Cis O’Boyle, co-founders and caretakers of idle women said, “If
you care as much as we do about how wonderful it is to be outdoors surrounded by the incredible power of plants, please support this very special opportunity to help us buy land in Nelson where we can create a physic garden dedicated and in trust to women and girls forever. We need you invest in this idle women project to make it happen, so please donate, spread the word, and join us in creating the first women’s physic garden in the UK.”

idle women are also delivering in bricks and mortar, a new partnership with social arts practitioners Heart of Glass and Anu Productions, and continue their partnership with Humraaz in Blackburn.

* Selina Cooper was the first woman to represent the Independent Labour Party in 1901 when she was elected as Poor Law Guardian. She also campaigned for birth control and the rights of married women to work, and established the first ever Maternity Centre in Nelson.

For further information, images and interview requests please contact
Janette Scott Arts PR on [email protected] or 07966 486156.
idle women, Second Floor Unity House 49 - 51 Preston New Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB2

idle women (on the water) was a two-year tour of the canals of North West England and West Yorkshire. The Selina Cooper is a tailor made narrowboat that serves as a resource and arts centre for women. During 2016 and 2017, idle women hosted artists MUF Architecture/Art, Martina Mullaney, Mojisola Adebayo, Noor Afshan Mirza, Stella Barnes & Nicky Bashall, Sarah Cole, Michelle Wren, Candice Purwin, Raksha Patel, Dina Rončević, the women’s refuge Humraaz and many other artists, organisations and
communities aboard the Selina Cooper.

idle women is an organisation that initiates and creates contemporary art with women, creating a place for all women and girls to belong. Founded by its two caretakers Rachel Anderson and Cis O’Boyle in 2015, idle women uses creative projects to develop a permanent resource space for women. Their current project with Louise Lowe (ANU Productions) and Heart of Glass has been granted Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence Award.

Rebecca Senior Rebecca Senior

Research and Development Coordinator

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