Jane Fitzgerald White works as an assistant landscape architect in Bristol. In 2011, she received the Jo Yeates Landscape Design Prize, and was asked by BDP Bristol, the prize's creators, to produce a body of work to form part of the legacy created in Jo's memory. She will present the work at The University of Gloucestershire at the beginning of May.
What will you be exhibiting?
My brief was to choose an example of contemporary landscape architecture and express why I find it inspirational. I decided to visit New York City to explore some of the community gardens under the stewardship of the New York Restoration Program, a charity foundation set up by Bette Midler to address the need for high-quality green space in the city. On show will be a book and a multimedia film documenting the extraordinary experience that I had.
What's been your favourite part of the project?
Meeting and getting to know the community gardeners. All of them were very down-to-earth, untrained in design and horticulture, and making an extraordinary contribution to landscape and their community. They really opened my eyes to the ability of the individual to create and nurture landscapes which have a positive social impact throughout the wider city community.
Why is the Jo Yeates Landscape Design Prize important?
It provides an opportunity for something positive to arise out of such a horrific event. The work each person contributes to Jo’s legacy will live on, not just in their minds and the minds of their contemporaries, but also in the minds of future generations who will be able to explore the varying delights contained within the prize's archive.