Handdrawn illustration of the Camellia sculpture, surrounded by plants that have speech bubbles.

The Camellia Project

In Summer 2023, Grimm & Co was commissioned by Gallery Town and Yorkshire Sculpture Park to produce some writing inspired by the sculpture, Camellia. Artist James Capper created Camellia, which noresides in All Saints Square in Rotherham, to display a blend of the natural and engineered world. Camellia flowers have a rich heritage in Rotherham, with Wentworth Woodhouse hosting the oldest collection in the western world in their Camellia House, which is currently being restored. 

James came to meet both of our Saturday Club cohorts.  He talked to them about how he became a sculptor and his inspirations, and shared some of his idea generation tips. The young people enjoyed taking a trip to visit the sculpture created by James in collaboration with local school pupils and local metal fabricators. 

The young people then got to work creating their own audio installation, with musings from other local plants, wildlife and creatures. These soundbites are available to listen to on this page. 

Furthermore, the young people created fictional heritage stories, blending the heritage and identity of the local area and their own imagination. 

We would like to thank our wonderful volunteer mentors for making this project possible. Special thanks also go to James Capper, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Gallery Town and our funders,  Arts Council England and the National Lottery Community Fund. 

We hope you enjoy listening to this project. 

Young person smiling and holding a picture of a boat up to the camera.
Artist James Capper sitting on the floor, talking to a child.
A group of young people standing in front of the Camellia sculpture - a large pink and yellow mechanised sculpture.
A group of people in All Saints Square looking up at the Camellia sculpture.
Four young people looking up at the Camellia sculpture with artist, James Capper.
A group of young children sitting on the floor writing, with the artists James Capper.

Audio and transcripts:

As part of the Camellia project, our Saturday Clubs created an audio installation from the point of view of various natural creatures and flowers. These creatures and plants wanted to express why they too should be awarded a sculpture in their honour. Listen here to find out why a sunflower and a penguin (amongst others) would like to see themselves immortalised in artwork. Or if you prefer, you can read transcripts of their work below.

Heritage stories:

Artist James Capper blends the natural world with heritage storytelling in his artwork. Our Saturday Clubs were inspired by this, and created their own heritage stories based on the recent and far distant past in Rotherham, South Yorkshire and beyond. We hope you enjoy reading these fantastic stories.