Do not step on the Flwowos (Flowers) - Camden Art Centre

A year long schools programme of learning, care and collaboration through arts and gardening with Johanna Tagada Hoffbeck

In collaboration with Camden Art Centre and a local primary school, painter and interdisciplinary artist Johanna Tagada Hoffbeck has ideated and developed a year long programme based around the themes of Joy and Togetherness. Throughout the year every pupil at the school from year one through to six will participate in the project based around interacting with and understanding the natural world.

Guided by Johanna the children work individually and collectively around seasonal themes including; community, compassion, cultivating connections and a sense of place. All sessions involve gardening, drawing and conversations between the group encouraging creativity, knowledge sharing and confidence building through self-expression.

The project draws on the artist’s ongoing project The Gardening Drawing Club and the sensibilities and skills explored through these sessions. The Gardening Drawing Club runs regularly with a range of different audiences in a variety of locations including previous iterations at Camden Art Centre in April and October 2022.

Chapters Images The Artist


Through the Autumn term years 1 and 2 planted over 300 daffodil bulbs across the school with many of the participants planting for the first time. Each pupil was individually guided through the process and planted their own bulbs which will bloom in Spring. After the workshops the pupils also created their own signage to protect the bulbs through cultivation, the wording of which inspired the project title.

“One of the aims of this term was to encourage a sense of belonging (as a part of nature) and well-being. We discussed and soothed any discomfort or fear children may associate with the natural world (ex: ‘it is dirty, ‘fear of insects’); as a result, confidence and skills were gained. We learned about plants, insects, and each other as we spoke about the languages we may use outside the classroom over cups of herbal tea in the morning. I adored some of the references the children made as we discussed the life of plants, for example, that “roots are like giant straw; they take water and food from the soil! ”” – Johanna Tagada Hoffbeck

During sessions at Camden Art Centre Johanna planted additional sage and rosemary plants in the garden and taught the pupils to plant smaller basil seeds and the different approach required. Term 2 which will begin in January, will focus on the textures of the natural world.

" The sessions at Camden Art Centre this term encouraged sensory development & healthy eating. We began the workshops with a walk in the garden before heading to the indoor studio space to touch, smell and discuss herbs. The programme was conceived maintaining a diversity of fragrances, colours, plant types, shapes, tastes and textures." - Johanna Tagada Hoffbeck.

The Artist

Johanna Tagada Hoffbeck (b.1990, Strasbourg, France) is a painter, transdisciplinary artist and cultural practitioner artist based in rural Oxfordshire (England). Her practice composed of painting, drawing, installation, sculpture, film, photography and writing often conceals ecological messages, rendered in soft and delicate methods. In several of the artist’s projects, interaction with the environment and others plays a central role. Recent solo exhibitions include Dreaming about Tomorrow at Nidi Gallery and Caring & Tender -A Painter’s Photographic Diary at Terrace Square Photo Tokyo. Books on her practice have been published by InOtherWords Imprint, Chose Commune and Jane & Jeremy, and are available to purchase in our Shop.

In 2014, Johanna founded the positive and collaborative cultural project Poetic Pastel. In 2018, the artist co-founded the publication series Journal du Thé – Contemporary Tea Culture. In 2021 she founded The Gardening Drawing Club. Coming from a family of passionate gardeners, Johanna received horticultural training in France and England, and she now tends to her two veganic allotment plots in Oxfordshire. Since 2018 she has studied Ikebana at the Ohara School. In 2021 she began her training in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture.