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Arts projects

Arts projects

We love working with individuals and organisations who help us to bringing the work we do to new audiences. Working with artists, poets and other organisations outside of academic science also helps us to get a different perspective of the UKVGB collections.

Seeds. podcast

Silhouette of womans head in side profile, line drawings over the face.

We were delighted to be involved in the launch of Seeds. the podcast series as part of our 40th Anniversary celebrations in 2020.

The story intertwines two timelines. One timeline is set during the siege of St Petersburg in the second world war, and follows scientists working in the worlds first seedbank. The other timeline, set in the present day follows a hospital patient who cannot remember who, or where she is.

It was Podcast of the week in both the Guardian & The Sunday Times. The podcast has since been turned into a stage adaptation.

The series was produced by No Stone Theatre.

Directed by: Nicholas Pitt

Produced by: Johanna Taylor

Text by: Nick Walker

Music and sound design by: Jon Ouin

Starring: Nina Sosanya, Katy Stephens, Graeme Rose, Kirsty Rider & Jordan Kemp


We have worked with two poets who have explored different aspects of the UKVGBs work.

During Coventry's City of Culture year, poet George TtoouliLink opens in a new window worked with Charlotte Allender as part of a Coventry Creates commission. They explored the UKVGBs carrot collection, resulting in a set of poems entitled Parchment Scalpel Rock: What's Up Doc?Link opens in a new window

Womans face smiling

The work of Sujatha MenonLink opens in a new window sought to understand the experiences of women in science. She spoke with researchers from the School of Life Sciences, including Charlotte Allender and Sarah Trinder from the UKVGB team about their work, and their life outside of academia. A book relating to her conversations will be published in 2025.

Spiky seeds close up

Seeds of change

Clare Newtons project, Seeds of ChangeLink opens in a new window, explored different aspects of seeds following visits to researchers across the UK.

As part of her project, she visited the UK Vegetable Genebank, and learnt about the importance of our collections for future food security. Using her specialist camera set up, she took incredible close-up pictures of some of our seeds, including some spiky wild spinach seeds, which can be seen above.

Her project was exhibited at Gilbert White’s House & Gardens and RHS Wisley in 2023. Look out for future touring locations.

Anne Hathaways cottage

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

The Shakespeare Birthplace TrustLink opens in a new window grew some interesting historical vegetable varieties from the UKVGB collections in their kitchen garden at Anne Hathaway's Cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon. These included:

Kale variety "giant jersey kale"
  • Giant Jersey Kale | This variety of kale (also known as walking stick kale) develops a tall, woody stalk. The stalk can be cut, dried and finished to make walking sticks.
Kale variety "ragged jack"
  • Ragged Jack Kale | The is is a very attractive type of kale - the interesting leaves have varying amounts of purple pigments called anthocyanins in the stalks and veins.
Lettuce variety "bloody warrior"
  • Bloody Warrior cos lettuce | This aptly named variety has dark red flecks on its leaves, which are somewhat soft and delicate.