August 2010: Two great films of Kevin's garden posted on the film page - thanks to jeffreypatrickwebb on youtube for making these records.
August 2010: Photos added taken by Darren Riley using a process called Lomography
April 2010: New photos added of latest sculptures
Oct 2009: Kevin has continued to produce more sculptures. There are new photos by Karen Braben added to the photographs page.
May 2009: Work at the Rectory Garden Centre continues at a rapid pace! A new tower has been built in the Tudor Village Square - all from reclaimed materials and salvage. Kevin explained how the tower depicts a Folk Song called "Barbarra Allen" [you can read the lyrics of the song at http://www.unc.edu/~breaden/Website/SongPages/songs_01_BarbaraAllen.htm ] - the two lovers represented by two roses....
The branches are constructed using pipe insulation, chicken wire and cement [applied by hand].
I think it works very well and brings a new aspect to the garden. Local school children have visited the garden and are to name the new tower as part of a competition.
Near the entrance is a Pagoda, made from scaffolding poles, traffic cones and old lamps. The cone and lamps were used as formwork to cast the concrete. These latest works show a departure from Kevin's previous constructions. They are more free flowing and expressive. See the Photographs page for images of the latest work.
There are also several works currrently under construction. One of which will form a victorian shopping arcade. In addition to all the new work, the existing structures have been given a lick of paint. All the flowers and plants are in bloom and the place looks fantastic.
December 2008: FIRE AT THE CHURCH: A fire broke out in the Church over the Christmas Holidays. Many people visit the Church and Kevin provides tea-light candles that visitors light, often in memory of a family member or friend. Unfortunately one of the candles set fire to a picture near the alter causing considerable damage. Kevin has now repaired the Church, which took nine days to restore. The smoke caused more damage than the flames.
Latest works> Kevin has developed a series of sculptures to populate his garden. The sculptures are made from reinforced cement and are life-size. All the intricate details are modeled by hand, literally shaped directly with the fingers.
These latest works add a new dimension to the garden. The visitor is no longer walking through an abandoned village, but comes across an array of characters, each with its own story to tell. There is an angel [a recurring theme in Kevin's work], familiar fictional characters [a Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austin's Novel, Pride and Prejudice]. There is the Gardener [Old man Jack smoking his pipe] and then the poignant composition of a widow with young girl and baby. Outside the Chapel there is a solo chorister complete with hymn book.
The largest sculpture is an ensemble of four figures set within the Tudor Village. This comprises of a King, Queen, Prince and Princess. The King is raising his chalice to the on-looker and the animated Prince with his right hand on the King's shoulder seems to be calling a celebratory cheer. The detail in all the figures is remarkable. Adjacent to each sculpture is a description of each piece, which can be read on this site on the photograph page.
In addition to the concrete sculptures Kevin has also expanded the mannequin section, carefully repainted the tudor village as well as adding a pond.
Manchesters own TV station, Channel M visited the garden on 27th March 2008 and you can watch the footage at the link below:
above: Kevin Duffy being interviewed for Channel-M news.
February 2008: Kevin and the garden to feature on 'The One Show', Wed 27th Feb BBC ONE at 7.00 p.m.
January 2008:An article on Kevins garden is published in the international arts journal, Raw Vision Magazine, issue 62. http://www.rawvision.com/articles/62/duffy/duffy.html. Please see the Raw Vision website to purchase a copy.
13th December 2007: Sad news: Kevin's chapel was burgled last night and the thieves took around £80 that visitors had donated to the popular charity, "Children in Need". Kevin is clearly upset about this, however the local community has rallied round and the Blue Bell public house is holding a fund raising event to recoup the money. Unlike many other environments, Kevin's work has not been vandalised or broken in to this way before. It's a real shame.
26th October 2007: BBC news feature on Kevin's work : http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7062698.stm
11th August 2007: Members of the Folly Fellowship pay a visit to Kevin's Garden. It was a really good morning, time was spent walking round the garden, drinking mugs of tea with Kevin followed by a pub lunch. The Folly Fellowship can be viewed on http://www.follies.org.uk - and produce a quality journal and magazine. Photograph below: Members of the Folly Fellowship & Kevin Duffy
There have been a whole series of developments made by Kevin during the Summer and Autumn of 2007. Kevin has completely re-rendered his house, adding ‘tudor’ details and embellishments. At the rear of the property he has begun to develop a scene reminiscent of a traditional pub.
In addition to the extensive rendering works a collection of found/donated objects has been installed along with modifications to the ‘museum’ area.
To complement the building works, Kevin has also secured a donation of life-sized mannequins from a well-known high street shopping chain. He has used these to create a musical scene, complete with instruments, costumes and 1960s pop-music scores and song sheets. Members of the band include, ‘The King’ Elvis Presley, Ozzy Osborne, as well as various other fellows dressed in eclectic attire. The majority of the instruments are homemade, and are displayed with name labels to help the visitor identify the less familiar exhibits.
Kevin has also positioned a mannequin within the chapel dressed as a priest; the careful location of the figure catches many visitors off-guard – resulting in screams followed by laughter. In another area of the garden he has positioned a mannequin clasped in medieval stocks. It turns out that the villain in question is none-other than the over-excitable, ex-Manchester United player/philosopher, Eric Cantona.
The latest developments can be viewed on the photographs page>