Behind the Scenes | Grass Men
Ashley Peevor has been working with growing groups to create the Grass Men that will be lumbering around the bay as part of (extra)ordinary. This project has been about engaging people with growing in a playful, tactile and humorous way. It’s also rooted in tradition, myth & narrative such as the green man, pagan and folk traditions that are deep in our culture.
2 groups taken on challenge of designing and growing unique heads for grass men, including their design and choice of plants.
Brixham Edge young volunteers group (run by Chris)
Cricketfield Growers at Cricketfield community garden (run by Dan)
Ashley led workshops for the community groups to understand the process, design and then make the heads of each of the grass men. Young volunteers at Edge came up with the 3 designs and then had a ‘catwalk show’ to vote on the one they wanted to take forwards - they ended up selecting the most challenging construction of course - the pyramid shaped one! Cricketfield Growers went for a classic shape and as a community allotment group, they gave a great deal of thought to the planting and flowers used. After the workshops the heads were left in the care of the 2 groups to monitor and water and watch them grow! Ashley also led a workshop with Play Torbay young people at Fort Apache to grow their own little feet.
We had a huge interest in the call out for performers with lots of buzz on social media and sharing. There are lots of challenges in performing in the suits - they are heavy, messy, hot and claustrophic - the hunt was on! We are delighted that 2 very special members of the community will be donning the Grass Men suits for performances across Torbay. Dan and Sean are both Community Builders with Torbay Community Development Trust. These 2 community cultivators will meet and greet people in high street and rural locations across Torbay.
We wanted to find locations that would reflect the diversity of Torbay - places that would both bring the rural into urban spaces to create surprise and joy and places where the Grass Men would reflect the fabulous natural beauty of our wild spaces. Finding the performance spaces was easy - we have so many great choices. But finding places for the grass men to change is quite a challenge, and finding places that are safe enough for performers to navigate when wearing a large piece of foliage! We reached out to community hotspots and are so grateful to everyone's generosity, excitement and support in helping to make this possible - Torbay Engage Church, Paignton Shoreline Cafe and Paignton Pier, The Palace Theatre Paignton and Friends of Shoalstone Pool.
You can spot the Grass Men appearing across Torbay 7th - 9th June, and see the costumes up close in Eyeview Shop in Winner Street, Paignton from Monday 10th June - Wednesday 12th June.