Chatham Vines

A symbol of regeneration

FrancisKnight were appointed by ArtOffice and Medway Council to work with international artist John Newling on the award-winning public art project Chatham Vines. 

Chatham vines was a major commission to install and nurture a vineyard of 32 Pinot Noir vines grown hydroponically in St John’s Church, Chatham. Grapes were harvested from the vines and made into wine, some of which was used in the Easter Sunday Eucharist Service at Rochester Cathedral. On the final day of the project, the community were invited into the church to take a vine home for their gardens or allotments.

FrancisKnight supported John Newling, providing day to day management of the vines and devising an education programme to accompany the commssion. A limited edition hardback artist book documented the award winning installation. 

Chatham Vines scooped the Rouse Kent Public Art Award for 2006 and the internationally acclaimed art critic, Richard Cook of The Times said: “In full bloom, it must have been a magical experience, even for visitors who knew nothing about contemporary art. It turned out to be a powerful, poetic symbol of regeneration for a disused church waiting to be transformed in the regeneration of Chatham town centre. 

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