“I never expected Cooper Hall to develop the way it has; to become such a unique space for such versatile use. Its beginnings started as an entertainment annex for the family of Selwood Manor – it was not meant to be.
After 30 years in the business, I have learned that nothing is cast in stone, and sometimes projects evolve to their own level. I have always felt that colour, light, lighting and detail are the key factors to look and ambience. This, I am told, has been achieved, and I hope people will continue to enjoy the space, whatever the event.”
Jonathan Cooper – Designer/Project Manager & Trustee
“In terms of restoration, definitive is always an uneasy word, it seems always to carry a prerequisite, something that leaves no room for a new interpretation. For us to say that the gardens at Selwood Manor are a definitive restoration would be wrong, which is a good thing. For what we have tried to create instead is an environment that reflects, not only Morag’s brief in how she wanted the gardens to be, but also an environment around which The Cooper Hall and its ethos of holistic teaching and performance will flourish.
To achieve this has been a great endeavour, made possible only by a fantastic team in many guises. It is from our perspective a little like “Botanical Theatre” – but that’s only half the story. Nothing about what we do, nor indeed horticulture itself is ever static. Perhaps this is where the creative in all disciplines interconnect. If no two performances are ever the same, then no two seasons are either. If the gardens here at Selwood reflect that, then perhaps it goes someway to embracing all that Cooper Hall represents as a unique and personal experience, both for those visiting and for all those invited to perform. “
Richard Groves – Head Gardener