Photos by Adele M Reed

The Garden



(funding partner and co-commissioner)

The Garden is a creative collaboration between artist Alix Villanueva and Coventry-based composer Tim Seeley who have co-created a visual score resonating to the sounds of nature and the movement of bird wings soaring around the CV5 Sherbourne Allotment and responsive to over 40 public submissions being woven into The Garden Zine.

The Garden Zine, curated by Alix Villanueva, is a document that collates people’s multifaceted relationships to gardens and gardening. The idea for The Garden Zine emerged out of a residency at THE POD in Coventry for the Coventry Biennial 2019. During this time, Alix Villanueva had the special pleasure of inaugurating the CCCA Shed as a Zine Library (now a Zine Reading Room), bringing THE POD's zine collection to the Shed, as well as her own reading material for her residency. She came to the conclusion that she wanted to put together The Garden Zine for the Zine Reading Room. Gardens have been at the centre of her work for the past few years. They appeal to her as places saturated with cultural and social histories, as well as the meeting point for human and 'nature' to co-create. They are neither wild, nor domestic, perhaps both...

The idea within the music for Tim Seeley’s Avian Garden is to create the feeling of the wings’ movement, the energy behind flight for a bird. When entering Tim Seeley’s sonic world, the listener is left to compose their own soundscape, merging the velocity of birds’ wings, the chaos but beauty of masses of birds, their conversations and calls, with ethereal electronic sounds.

“I wanted to convey the feeling I get when the geese fly over me. The energy and effort their body exerts. Each wing forcing the air while the body makes gentle sounds like an accordion. I have ignored many aspects of time and tempo, inspired by Erik Satie’s ideas of eliminating the bar lines. There is no strict tempo, no pulse, no defined time signature. Just expression of movement.”                                                                                                                                Tim Seeley

Coventry City of Culture Trust 

(funding partner and co-commissioner) 

Coventry City of Culture Trust is delivering an ambitious programme for Coventry, as it becomes UK
City of Culture in 2021.

Green Futures is the environmentally focussed programme exploring the city’s hidden nature, tellin the stories of its diverse communities’ connection to local wildlife and natural heritage.

This green programme is delivered in partnership with a host of nature, community and cultura partners including Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Canals & Rivers Trust and The Heart of England Forest.

The Garden marks our first collaboration with The Pod as part of Green Future’s Growing Coventr strand. If you are an artist, activist, allotment grower or simply keen gardener and want to be part of the Green Futures network, to find out about future projects and opportunities, then email Amanda Roberts, via

Green Futures is supported by the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

#GreenFutures #Coventry2021

THE POD is Coventry’s award-winning mental health social brokerage and cultural hub, its unique approach builds capacity for creativity, innovation, regeneration and activism.

THE POD is cited as being a culturally impacting arts and mental health organisation in Coventry’s Cultural Strategy and was actively involved in engaging communities of interest and artists in the development of the City of Culture bid and consequently are now delivery partners in ‘Green Futures’. 

“A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.” 
                                                            Gertrude Jekyll

THE POD believes nature has a huge impact on people’s wellbeing and mental health.  Food Union was founded by The Pod in 2014 – as the name implies – uses the simple power of food to bring communities together, to find healthier ways of producing and eating food, but also of thinking about and enacting community and civic identity. Food Union currently has over 100 members who collectively manage/work our ¾ acre community food growing site affectionately known as CV5.

In addition, The Pod/Food Union have commissioned hosted and curated an artist in residency programme at CV5, monthly gatherings and folk gigs around the fire in the evening and at weekends,  ground breaking events, midsummer celebrations, structure building and eco narrative walks led by poets.  Last year we were delivery partners for the inaugural CHANGE festival, which saw us co-curate a Folk Song Nature Walk with internationally acclaimed Sam Lee. 

THE POD have also been awarded funds for underGROWTH.  underGROWTH is a series of eco-art inter[actions] that create a unique platform for people to consider, confront & articulate issues relating to the environment: the air we breathe, the city we move through, the trees that line our streets, the weeds that breakthrough the paving slabs, the River Sherbourne as it runs through and beneath the city, the food we eat, & ultimately our human responses.

underGROWTH aims to awaken/radicalise how people interact with the city by cultivating common purpose, exploring wildness and unearthing and re-planting the city's radical roots. underGROWTH will enable local people to engage with eco-artists, environmental activists, food growers, scientists & academics from across the UK. Participative in nature, the inter[actions] will creatively agitate environmental, political, and culturally motivated conversations and actions.

In collaboration with Coventry Biennale and integral to the work/vision of Food Union and underGROWTH Edinburgh-based artist and cosmoecologist Alix Villanueva undertook a residency across The Pod’s diverse sites to include the CV5 site and the Bob and Roberta Smith Zine Reading Room.  We are thrilled that as consequence of that residency the seeds for this Garden Zine were planted.

“The quiet activism of THE POD is also a deep activism, a unique case of civic care for people, places, land and multi-species, at a time when civic care is aggressively being eroded through calls to austerity, auditing and capital.”
                                                Dr Nirmal Puwar, Reader in Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London

Christine Eade (Manager, The Pod)