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Is this Compton Verney’s very own Eden?

Head over to Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park  and you may wonder what this is…

How would you cope if you had no access to your hairdresser, power shower, Netflix, Nutri-Bullet, Facebook, Botox injections and all the other traits of modern society? This is what Brit artists Alex Hartley and Tom James are seeking to find out in new site-specific art project, The Clearing  in the grounds of beautiful Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park.

They’re creating an encampment with a geodesic dome built from scrap materials, in the shadow of a stately home on the shores of an idyllic lake, where people can explore at first hand a future affected by climate change. Volunteer caretakers will live there, off-grid, with hippy survival manuals and an outdoor shower. It’s inspired by utopian communities of 60s America. When I first heard about The Clearing it reminded me a little of Channel 4’s 2016 reality show Eden, where 23 volunteers were released into the wild to create a new society within a private estate, off the west coast of Scotland.

Eden volunteer: junior doctor Jenna, aged 27

Watching Eden volunteers building hot showers and wooden shelters from scratch it suddenly dawned on me that, apart from cooking, I have absolutely zero practical skills. So, I was interested to discover from Sat March 18 until Sat Dec 2 2017 you can take part in a series of survivalist life skills workshops  at The Clearing from building a fire to filtering your own water, making medicine to keeping chickens and even building your own compost toilet with Ariana Jorado from the Centre for Alternative Technology in Mid-Wales…Just a thought if we’re heading for global meltdown.

During Feb Half-Term at Compton Verney families are encouraged to celebrate the outdoors. They can pick up a Winter Wander nature trail sheet at the Welcome Centre to complete around the Park, take part in nature craft activities at the Willow Tunnels, 1pm-3pm, go orienteering, check out the pond-dipping platform and visit Compton Verney’s excellent Adventure Playground.

Winter opening prices: Adult: £7, children (aged 5 -15) £3 and under 5’s free. A family ticket is £15. The House is closed until Sat March 18.

Compton Verney, near Kineton, Warwick, Warwickshire, CV35 9HZ,

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