The seed guardians were born after a series of events. I left Herefordshire to embark on the MA Art & Environment course in Falmouth University with the knowledge that the father of my sons was diagnosed with cancer. Richard and I had not lived together for some time, yet we were bonded in love and respect through the gift of our children. Richard became terminally ill. In this time I was making little clay figurines which I used as votives, giving them to the land and waterscape of Falmouth in ritualised blessings. On one of my many visits home, Richard handed me his seed collection, saying he would not have use for them now. We had grown abundant gardens, together and apart: I had also worked on an organic vegetable farm. We had nurtured our children’s creative childhoods; their parents, a musician and an artist: both adult sons are working in creative industries.

The timing of this gift from Richard coincided with the necessary development of a major project. Having undergone many possibilities towards being an advocate for an environmental concern, the choice became clear... the gift of life, the seed of creation. The making of the guardians nurtured my grief through the process of Richard dying. The clay in my hands absorbed my feelings and transferred them into each character, as they grew in their own unique way. I am grateful for the nurturing that soil and seed in the hand gives, healing and giving hope for continuance of life. I am also grateful that I had the opportunity to share my project with Richard before he died, and he loved it. It became evident that this humble relationship had so many layers to it, with a desire to be shared its development continued into a community project: Seed Community germinated.

Set 1: Rajka Apple, Herefordshire

Set 2: Kea Plum, Cornwall

Set 3: Giant Sunflower, Brighton

Touching Earth

Exhibition Set-up

MA & Other Post Graduates, Feb-Mar 2015, Atkinson Gallery, Somerset


Nurturing nature and nurturing creativity are the essence of my project and the ethos of my life and artistic practice. Encouraging the gift of creativity through making within a community field brings together people of all ages and abilities to produce a collaborative art piece.

Workshops: Laid out on the table were seed packets of a variety of edible plants, small balls of moist terracotta clay wrapped in damp cloths, and some modelling tools. Once a single seed was chosen and planted inside the hold-in-the-hand ball, I invited each community member to transform the clay into a guardian of the seed. Everyone seemed to engage in this practice with a sense of tactile delight, with an instant connection to earth, and with an understanding of the precious gift of life that a single seed can offer. As much fun was had when all were asked to place a mud thumbprint onto a numbered tie-on-tag, as identity; with the name of the chosen seed & participants name on the reverse side, to record all. Touching earth and being touched by earth.

Each seed guardian then became part of the Seed Community, a project I produced whilst studying at Falmouth University on the MA Art and Environment course. In all, 353 guardians were made by the community participants; toddlers, school children, young people in care, adults with learning difficulties and all ages of the general public.

The simplicity of the idea was received well: to create an object that was not intended to last; an ephemeral figurine whose purpose was to momentarily protect the seed. The guardian is, yet becomes more than, a metaphor. Seeds are continually under threat of being reduced to a small and patented, genetically modified agricultural varieties. Seeds are our heirlooms, our gifts from nature; they need saving, sharing and tending to, for continuing abundance. We each can play a part in their protection. The sheer diversity of seed varieties became a reflection of how each individual guardian maker, given the same material, created their own unique responses thus making a rich ecology of metaphors for life’s foundational dependence on seed: from dinosaur, snail, bird to farmer & his dog, to basket and urn.

Within a workshop setting, these and other more complex issues could be discussed, depending on who was involved:

-To promote awareness of where our food comes from: encouraging growing your own, sharing produce, saving seeds and to pass these gifts on to others.

-The soil and seed relationship: how industrial farming is depleting the health of soil and questioning the global health amd wealth effects of genetically modified seeds.

-The universal cycle of life, death and regeneration: each guardian is given back to the earth in order for the seed to grow.

-Seed as a metaphor for dreaming, wherein nurturing nature and nurturing creativity both support a vibrant and sustainable ecology.

-The importance of community: coming together in a collective action is supportive, fun and productive.

On a political level, many more people are now aware of the health issues of soil and seed: as reflected in support for organic growers and local smaller scale farmers, in seed saving and swapping, in a resurgent use of allotments, and self sufficiency. Globally, many countries have now banned the use of GM seeds that are reliant on heavy pesticide use.

The ‘Seed Community’ project would not have grown without the perfect marriage of my seeded idea and the groundwork of Falmouth Art Gallery’s non-didactic ethos to their outreach programme; art for all within the cultural triangle of Falmouth, Penzance and St. Ives. The initial 353 were reduced after being offered as gifts to the audience that attended their exhibition, as part of the Falmouth University MA Graduates show 2014. The ones that I have heard about are still intact, being kept as an object for now and hopefully as a reminder of their purpose.


1: Lola Mae. Herefordshire. Harlequin Squash.

St. Mary's Church of England Primary School, Penzance.

2: Delilah. Meteor Pea.

3: Raff. Harlequin Squash.

4: Finley. Meteor Pea.

5: Joel. Meteor Pea.

6: Biba. Meteor Pea.

7: Sevi. Meteor Pea.

8: Levis. Runner Bean.

9: Winston. Runner Bean.

10: Alex. French Bean.

11: Rosa. French Bean.

12: Rose. French Bean.

13: Merryn. French Bean.

14: Jed. French Bean.

15: James. French Bean.

16: Nina. Harlequin Squash.

17: Maia. Harlequin Squash.

18: Alisha. French Bean.

19: Freddie. Harlequin Squash.

20: Alma. Runner Bean.

21: Joel. Runner Bean.

22: Sofia. Runner Bean.

23: Jahmali. Runner Bean.

24: Freya. Runner Bean.

25: Jemima. Runner Bean.

Little Fingers Toddler Group, Falmouth Art Gallery.

26: Maybelle. Runner Bean.

27: Rosie. Runner Bean.

28: Jo. Broad Bean.

29: Freddie. Runner Bean.

30: Ali. Broad Bean.

31: Kate. Kabotcha Squash.

32: Lola. Broad Bean.

33: Alice. Runner Bean.

34: Harriet. Runner Bean.

Boot Up!, Perranarworthal.

35: Hollie. Giant Sunflower.

36: Kieran. Trailing Festival Squash.

37: Shikira. Nasturtium.

38: Meg. Nasturtium.

39: Richard. Giant Sunflower.

40: Stephan. Nantes Carrot.

41: Sheila. Giant Sunflower.

42: Jane. Wild Rosehip.

43: Jack. Gala Apple.

44: Fiona. Trailing Festival Squash.

45: Elione & Natalie. Giant Sunflower.

46: Danielle. Giant Sunflower.

47: Berenice. Harlequin Squash.

48: Stephan. Giant Sunflower.

49: Stephan. Gala Apple.

Little Fingers Toddler Group, Falmouth Art Gallery.

50: Keira. Flamenco Dwarf Runner Bean.

51: Hannah. Giant Sunflower.

52: Isla. Giant Sunflower.

53: Noah. Giant Sunflower.

54: Carly. Harlequin Squash.

55: Evie. Giant Sunflower.

56: Luke. Flamenco Dwarf Runner Bean.

57: Jo. Gala Apple.

58: Reggie. Gala Apple.

Mousehole Primary School, Penzance.

59: Rose. Wild Rosehip.

60: Jonah. Giant Sunflower.

61: Mickey. Cannellini Bean.

62: Dylan. Capsicum Bell Pepper.

63: Sienna. Trailing Festival Squash.

64: Eve. Runner Bean.

65: Honey. Dwarf French Bean.

66: Billy. Harlequin Squash.

67: Saffron. Broad Bean.

68: Maddie. Broad Bean.

69: Stella. Sweet Dumpling Squash.

70: Anabelle. Jumbo Pink Banana Squash.

71: Joby. Kabotcha Squash.

72: Talek. Kabotcha Squash.

73: Max. Giant Sunflower.

74: Isla. Jumbo Pink Banana Squash.

75: Jago. Capsicum Bell Pepper.

76: Alex. Capsicum Bell Pepper.

77: Orson. Capsicum Bell Pepper.

78: Leon. Capsicum Bell Pepper.

79: Siân. Nasturtium.

80: Finley. Giant Sunflower.

81: Alfie. Gala Apple.

82: Molly. Nasturtium.

83: Faith. Nasturtium.

84: Poppy. Nasturtium.

85: Jessica. Jumbo Pink Banana Squash.

86: Suzanna. Jumbo Pink Banana Squash.

87: Max. Mabbor Mystery Seeds.

Murdoch & Trevithick Daycare Centre, Redruth.

88: Ed. Dwarf French Bean.

89: Adam. Dwarf French Bean.

90: Michael. Dwarf French Bean.

91: Fiona. Runner Bean.

92: Angela R. Runner Bean.

93: Sally. Harlequin Squash.

94: Catherine. Meteor Pea.

95: Charlotte. Purple Queen Dwarf French Bean.

96: Angela D. Meteor Pea.

97: Michael. Meteor Pea.

98: Sarah. Harlequin Squash.

Falmouth Primary School.

99: Iesha. Giant Sunflower.

100: Honey. Harlequin Squash.

101: Tobias. Giant Sunflower.

102: Harvey. Giant Sunflower.

103: Ethan. Harlequin Squash.

104: Lydia. Giant Sunflower.

105: Cory. Harlequin Squash.

106: Crystal. Giant Sunflower.

107: Charlize. Harlequin Squash.

108: Teanna. Harlequin Squash.

109: William. Harlequin Squash.

110: Jake. Harlequin Squash.

111: Reese. Cannellini Bean.

112: Yagmur. Cannellini Bean.

113: Jack. Cannellini Bean.

114: Nathan. Wild Rosehip.

115: Lewis. Runner Bean.

116: Briea. Runner Bean.

117: Nicholas. Gala Apple.

118: Phylias. Runner Bean.

119: Kaydan. Gala Apple.

120: Owen. Runner Bean.

121: Jonathan. Runner Bean.

Falcare, Falmouth.

122: Mel. Kabotcha Squash.

123: Melissa. Cannellini Bean.

124: Nick. Harlequin Squash.

125: Rob. Kabotcha Squash.

126: Catherine. Cannellini Bean.

127: Hayley. Runner Bean.

128: Martin. Harlequin Squash.

129: Jackie. Meteor Pea.

Folklore, Falmouth.

130: Hannah. Broad Bean.

131: Christopher. Trailing Festival Squash.

132: Simon. Cello Spinach.

133: Felix. Sweet Dumpling Squash.

Falmouth Art Gallery, Family Open Drop In.

134: Nico. Falmouth. The Prince Dwarf French Bean.

135: Chloe. Falmouth. The Prince Dwarf French Bean.

136: Stephan. Penzance. The Prince Dwarf French Bean.

137: Carys. Falmouth. Giant Sunflower.

138: Peter. NW London. Flamenco Dwarf Runner Bean.

139: Ben. Falmouth. Meteor Pea.

140: Jack. Falmouth. Kabotcha Squash.

141: Kay. Falmouth. Flamenco Dwarf Runner Bean.

142: Jo. Falmouth. Gala Apple.

143: Nikki. Flushing. Feltham First Pea.

144: John. Flushing. Feltham First Pea.

145: Hannah. Falmouth. Meteor Pea.

146: Martin. Suffolk. Kabotcha Squash.

147: Pat. Padstow. Gala Apple.

148: Emily & Sarah. Fowey. Gala Apple.

149: Emily & Sarah. Fowey. Giant Sunflower.

MA Art & Environment Students.

150: Angela. Crondall. Peckham Pear.

151: Carla. St. Austell. Feltham First Pea.

152: Beckie. Broadbottom. Gala Apple.

153: Jackie. Herefordshire. Honesty.

154: Claire. Falmouth. Turks Turbans Squash.

155: Vicky. Kibworth. Kabotcha Squash.

Marlborough Primary School, Class 4, Falmouth.

156: Jasmine. Streamline Runner Bean.

157: Faith. Gala Apple.

158: Ruth. Cannellini Bean.

159: Gabriel. Meteor Pea.

160: Gabriel. Meteor Pea.

161: Alex. Meteor Pea.

162: Dylan. Meteor Pea.

163: Harriet. Streamline Runner Bean.

164: Billy. Meteor Pea.

165: Jack. Streamline Runner Bean.

166: Sam. Streamline Runner Bean.

167: Athalia. Streamline Runner Bean.

168: Erin. Streamline Runner Bean.

169: Ella. Streamline Runner Bean.

170: Leo. Cox Apple.

171: Zak. Flamenco Dwarf Runner Bean.

172: Jack. Flamenco Dwarf Runner Bean.

173: Grace. Flamenco Dwarf Runner Bean.

174: Madison. Purple Queen Dwarf French Bean.

175: Niamh. Flamenco Dwarf Runner Bean.

176: Ashleigh. Cox Apple.

177: Lowenna. Cox Apple.

178: Jacob. Flamenco Dwarf Runner Bean.

179: Ted. Flamenco Dwarf Runner Bean.

180: Molly. Feltham First Pea.

181: Poppy. Feltham First Pea.

182: Kai. Cox Apple.

183: Ernie. Cox Apple.

184: Sean. Cox Apple.

185: Amy. Gala Apple.

186: Izzy. Streamline Runner Bean.

187: Jo. Feltham First Pea.

King Charles Primary School, Falmouth.

188: Chantal. Giant Sunflower.

189: Summer. Purple Queen Dwarf French Bean.

190: Alex. Streamline Runner Bean.

191: Rupesh. Purple Queen Dwarf French Bean.

192: Jasmine. Streamline Runner Bean.

193: Poppy. Streamline Runner Bean.

194: Adam. Harlequin Squash.

195: Iysha. Harlequin Squash.

196: Archie. Harlequin Squash.

197: Sophie. Cox Apple.

198: Matas. Streamline Runner Bean.

199: Patrick. Giant Sunflower.

200: Alex. Giant Sunflower.

201: Alfie. Giant Sunflower.

202: Ben. Giant Sunflower.

SoilCulture Forum.

203: Denise. Dublin. Honesty.

204: Karen. Missouri. Purple Queen Dwarf French Bean.

205: Sam. California. Feltham First Pea.

206: Diana. Surrey. Honesty.

207: Nadege. Nantes, France. Nantes Carrot.

208: Jonny. Berkshire. Giant Sunflower.

209: Caro. Penzance. Turks Turbans Squash.

210: Mary. Shaldon. Runner Bean.

211: Alison. Bournemouth. Cello Spinach.

212: Mat. Falmouth. Purple Queen Dwarf French Bean.

213: Ann-Marie. London/Penzance. Honesty.

214: Rachel. Newlyn. Giant Sunflower.

215: Danile. Israel. Honesty.

216: Jim. Cornwall. Giant Sunflower.

217: Andrew. Helford Passage. Cox Apple.

218: Val. Redruth. Wild Rosehip.

219: Petra. Bristol. Wild Rosehip.

220: Frida. Falmouth. Cox Apple.

221: Charlotte. South Devon. Cello Spinach.

222: Suzanne. Oxford. Kabotcha Squash.

223: Ian. Falmouth. Turks Turbans Squash.

224. Lisa. South Devon. Harlequin Squash.

225: Naomi. Mid Devon. Feltham First Pea.

226: Jill. Camborne. Wild Rosehip.

227: Andy. Camborne. Nantes Carrot.

228: Jude. Totnes. Cox Apple.

229: Melanie. Truro. Kabotcha Squash.

230: Amanda. Dorset. Kabotcha Squash.

231: Matthew. Devon. Wild Rosehip.

232: Barbara. Berlin. Runner Bean.

233: Richard. Devon. Giant Sunflower.

234: Chris. Ladock. Peckham Pear.

235: Betty. Penryn. Peckham Pear.

236: Sophie. Caen, France. Giant Sunflower.

237: Jo. Ponsanooth. Cox Apple.

238: Tean. Ponsanooth. Feltham First Pea.

239: Mische. Stroud. Runner Bean.

240: Flora. Stroud. Wild Rosehip.

241: Jackie. Herefordshire. Raika Apple.

242: Paul. Ilfracombe. Giant Sunflower.

243: Steve. Penryn. Honesty.

244: Christianne. Penzance. Wild Rosehip.

245: Nicky. Dartmoor. Honesty.

246: Philip. Falmouth. Meteor Pea.

247: Francesca. Ilfracombe. Wild Rosehip.

248: Lucy. London. Meteor Pea.

249: Irene. Penryn. Wild Rosehip.

250: Patrick. Exeter. Wild Rosehip.

251: Naomi. Bristol. Harlequin Squash.

252: Clive. Knowle. Cox Apple.

253: Richard. Bath. Wild Rosehip.

254: Caroline. Flushing. Runner Bean.

255: Marina. Herefordshire. Turks Turbans Squash.

256: Tom. Falmouth. Cannellini Bean.

Holifair Festival. Holifield Farm Project. Gweek.

257: Becky. Ilfracombe. Sweet Dumpling Squash.

258: Angela. Texas. Kabotcha Squash.

259: Este. Plymouth. Capsicum Bell Pepper.

260: Kat. Falmouth. Cox Apple.

261: Lyndon. Luxyluan. Gala Apple.

262: Sarah. Luxyluan. Purple Queen Dwarf French Bean.

263: Timmy. St. Ives. Runner Bean.

264: Marley. St. Ives. Giant Sunflower.

265: Mo. St. Ives. Harlequin Squash.

266: Kate. Hayle. Feltham First Pea.

267: Lara. Stroud. Cello Spinach.

268: Susie. Porkellis. Giant Sunflower.

269: Abby. Carharrack. Feltham First Pea.

270: Sky. Carharrack. Giant Sunflower.

271: Jackie. Herefordshire. Raika Apple.

272: Angela. Falmouth. Judas Penning Honesty.

273: Lola. Coverack. Gala Apple.

274: Ella. St. Keverne. Cox Apple.

275: Caoimhe. Coverack. Peckham Pear.

276: Rose. Coverack. Giant Sunflower.

Project leader/artist Jackie Yeomans.

277: Jackie. Herefordshire. Raika Apple.

278: Jackie. Herefordshire. Raika Apple.

279: Jackie. Herefordshire. Raika Apple.

280: Jackie. Herefordshire. Raika Apple.

281: Jackie. Herefordshire. Raika Apple.

282: Jackie. Herefordshire. Raika Apple.

283: Jackie. Herefordshire. Raika Apple.

284: Jackie. Herefordshire. Raika Apple.

285: Jackie. Herefordshire. Raika Apple.

286: Jackie. Herefordshire. Raika Apple.

287: Jackie. Herefordshire. Raika Apple.

288: Jackie. Herefordshire. Raika Apple.

289: Jackie. Herefordshire. Raika Apple.

290: Jackie. Herefordshire. Kea Plum.

291: Jackie. Herefordshire. Kea Plum.

292: Jackie. Herefordshire. Kea Plum.

293: Jackie. Herefordshire. Kea Plum.

294: Jackie. Herefordshire. Kea Plum.

295: Jackie. Herefordshire. Kea Plum.

296: Jackie. Herefordshire. Kea Plum.

297: Jackie. Herefordshire. Kea Plum.

298: Jackie. Herefordshire. Kea Plum.

299: Jackie. Herefordshire. Kea Plum.

300: Jackie. Herefordshire. Kea Plum.

301: Jackie. Herefordshire. Kea Plum.

302: Jackie. Herefordshire. Kea Plum.

303: Jackie. Herefordshire. Giant Sunflower.

304: Jackie. Herefordshire. Giant Sunflower.

305: Jackie. Herefordshire. Giant Sunflower.

306: Jackie. Herefordshire. Giant Sunflower.

307: Jackie. Herefordshire. Giant Sunflower.

308: Jackie. Herefordshire. Giant Sunflower.

309: Jackie. Herefordshire. Giant Sunflower.

310: Jackie. Herefordshire. Giant Sunflower.

311: Jackie. Herefordshire. Giant Sunflower.

312: Jackie. Herefordshire. Giant Sunflower.

313: Jackie. Herefordshire. Giant Sunflower.

314: Jackie. Herefordshire. Giant Sunflower.

315: Jackie. Herefordshire. Giant Sunflower.

Falmouth Art Gallery, Family Open Drop In.

316: William Henry. Penryn. Pumpkin.

317: Eliza Henry. Penryn. Pumpkin.

318: James Henry. Penryn. Pumpkin.

319: Guy English. Flushing. Broad Bean.

320: Alan Malcolm. London. Courgette.

321: Michael O’Connell. Falmouth. Capsicum Pepper.

322: Liz Deans-Allison. Falmouth. Courgette.

323: Sebastian Trennery. Penryn. Pumpkin.

324: Felicity Trennery. Penryn. Pumpkin.

325: Diggory Trennery. Penryn. Pumpkin.

326: April Pickard-Noble. Penryn. Cherry.

327: Sam Pickard. Penryn. Cox Apple.

328: Nico Thorton-Kent. Falmouth. Pumpkin.

329: Chloe Cyrus-Kent. Falmouth. Feltham First Pea.

330: Eddie Thorton-Kent. Falmouth. Dwarf French Bean.

331: Caroline Nichol. Flushing. Gala Apple.

332: Thorn Nichol. Flushing. Lemon.

333: Leo Kent. Flushing. Gala Apple.

334: Tracy Kent. Falmouth. Gala Apple.

335: River Markland. Falmouth. Broad Bean. Lemon.

336: Robin Markland. Falmouth. Broad Bean. Lemon.

337: Oscar Green. Falmouth. Cox Apple.

338: Frank Mozley. Penryn. Dwarf French Bean.

339: Gracie Payne. Penryn. Pumpkin.

340: Louise Bennett. Penryn. Cherry.

341: Crystal Calpin-Neway. Falmouth. Pumpkin.

342: Mya Stratten. Falmouth. Gala Apple.

343: Jasmine Caplin-Neway. Falmouth. Cherry.

344: Sarah Neway. Falmouth. Capsicum Pepper.

345: Henry Jackson. Penryn. Dwarf French Bean.

346: Marty Collett. Penryn. Cherry.

347: Molly Davies. Penryn. Cherry.

348: Maria Collett. Penryn. Cherry.

349: Kirsty Martin. Penryn. Lemon.

350: Lucy Collett. Penryn. Cherry.

351: Daisy Brown. Gloucestershire. Capsicum Pepper.

352: Joseph Brown. Gloucestershire. Pumpkin.

353: Darren Brown. Gloucestershire. Pumpkin.