Armchair Gallery

How to run a creative workshop based on Kitchen Garden

Artwork by , created in

About this activity

Workshop themes

  • Allotments
  • Gardening
  • Outdoors
  • Sheds
  • Tool Boxes


  • Suitable for groups
  • Suitable for one to one

Difficulty level




  • Name badges (for all participants and staff).
  • Bamboo (an assortment of sizes).
  • Masking tape.


  • Go around the room and make eye contact with everyone, shake their hand and say hello.
  • Sit in a circle.
  • Hand out pieces of bamboo to everyone.
  • Ask each member of the group to touch another piece of bamboo that someone else has (this could be the person next to them or someone who is seated opposite).
  • Attach all of the bamboo together with masking tape and let it drop to the floor to reveal a  sculpture.
  • Spend time looking and exploring shapes made with the bamboo.
  •  If you have access to a camera and/or an iPad ask participants to take photographs looking through the bamboo to get some really creative shots.




  • Look at the artwork using the Armchair Gallery app.
  • Welcome and invite the person or group to create with you and write their answers on the flip chart. Ask open-ended questions (like in the list to the right).
  • Affirm/echo all their answers - together we build a story that can have sound, movement, words - even drawings.
  • Retell the story, then invite them to add another creative element like sound, or movement.

Suggested Questions

  • What’s going on in the picture?
  • Where do you think this is?
  • Why do you think it was painted that colour?
  • Would you want to go inside?
  • What do you think you would smell?
  • What sounds do you hear?
  • Who do you think created this shed?
  • What would you name this?
  • How does this make you feel?

Play this video

Workshop members can watch this on their own tablet, or you can play it to the group by connecting your tablet to a TV or projector. It can also be downloaded from the Armchair Gallery website.

Interact with the artwork

At this point in the workshop participants should have a go at using the app to interact with the artwork. From the main menu, enter Chatsworth House, select Kitchen Garden and tap Interact and play.

Multi-Sensory Exploration, Part 1


  • Wifi is needed for the sound task.
  • iPad and speakers (for music and sounds).
  • Print out of lyrics to the song English Country Garden.
  • An assortment of tastes, pollen, honey, floral sweets etc.
  • Seeds.
  • Soil.
  • Plant pots.
  • Watering can.
  • Vegetable templates for designing allotments.


  • Ask the group what kind of objects would be in a shed that could make sounds. Find the suggested sounds on the internet and play these back to participants.
  • Re-enact these sounds using your bodies imaginatively. (e.g. the sound of a hammer could be re-enacted by tapping out a rhythm with feet on the floor).
  • Enjoy a sing along to English Country Garden.
  • Print off the lyrics and sing along with the music!

Multi-Sensory Exploration, Part 2


  • As the blue hut in the kitchen garden is situated in the middle of a large garden, hand out various tastes linked to the outdoors. Tastes could include pollen, edible flowers, honey and floral sweets.


  • Offer a selection of seeds and plant these into small plant pots. Encourage people to touch the soil and push all of the seeds in, exploring touch and texture in a variety of ways. Water these when they have been finished.
  • You could have a growing competition – make sure each pot is labelled to see who’s seeds might win!

Multi-Sensory Exploration, Part 3


  • Begin by inviting people to think about things that they would plant on an allotment if they had one.
  • Firstly give them a copy of a vegetable template and invite them to colour in the crops that they would be interested in growing.
  • As people are colouring in, talk about what people have chosen and why they have chosen them.
  • This is a group activity. Hand out an allotment plan and invite people to cut out the vegetables and to stick them on the plan where they would like to grow them.
  • At the end of this task share the plan with everyone.
  • As an additional idea, the session could continue by creating tissue paper pom pom flowers . On completion, participants could exchange their own flowers with other members of the group as a gesture of friendship.


  • Offer participants bunches of (freshly picked) wildflowers and invite your group to smell and inhale the beautiful scents of the fresh flowers.

Making: Willow Star


Thank the group for attending and taking part and ask everyone to give themselves a big round of applause.


Getting Materials

You should be able to get most of the materials mentioned in this guide at your local arts supplier.

They are also avaiable on Amazon. If you shop via Amazon Smile (using the button below - UK only), then we will recieve a donation that we can put towards our work with older people.

Other Apps

You could use these other apps to further explore digital technology in your workshop.