Based in Greenock, and known for its award-winning regeneration work, RIG Arts was one of the organisations chosen to create an ‘Unexpected Garden’ as part of the Dandelion project.

Working with partners and volunteers, it revitalised an area of unused scrubland and turned it into The Drying Green - a shared space for nurturing plants and stories, a place to gather and host events, activities, workshops and performances. The garden was named after the communal laundry areas shared by tenement buildings throughout Scotland – but instead of clothes pegs and washing lines, they watched tendrils and vines unfurl next to new public sculptures and created a community mosaic. 

RIG Arts held regular consultation meetings to involve local volunteers in the design and development of the garden. Participants co-created the public art installation, engaged in songwriting workshops and took part in garden volunteer days to encourage community ownership. In total, over 400 local residents volunteered their time to shape the design of the garden and get creative. 

Activities included poetry reading, ceilidh dancing, performance art, casting and bronze pouring, cyanotype printing, storytelling, theatre making, eco-dying, den-building, herbalism, mosaic, music-making, songwriting, seasonal crafts - plus digging, weeding and growing.

“The Drying Green is a valuable community-owned asset for culture and connection that would be nothing without the time and generosity of volunteers. Local people were involved every step of the way.” Karlyn Fergusson

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