Free websites are something many tech-savy artists and musicians exploit on a daily basis, the list of free website companies must run into the hundreds if not thousands. All of them come with some catch somewhere along the line, hidden charges, fees for extras, fees to leave or simply cut back functionality. So all is good if you’re an artist or business even and want to get yourself a free website, so long as you put up with the draw backs and of course you know what you’re doing.
However what happens if you’re 70 odd year old artist and never touched a computer in your life, more over your son hasn’t even touched a computer properly either. The answers simple, you have no choice but to carry on, doing the stuff you love and hope the word gets out.
That’s what local artist and nurseryman Kevin Duffy has been doing, making do, in more ways than one whilst producing the stuff he loves.
Art that benefits many
Kevin is an unassuming, salt of the earth Wiganer residing in Ashton-in-Makerfield. For the last 40 years he’s been growing plants and producing an artistic wonderland out of nothing more than a load of ‘old junk’. His sculptures, produced in his own unique style (in fact the whole garden centre) have been lovingly created with recycled, reclaimed and upcycled items, worked up by Kevin himself and assisted by his son Carl.
As I am a lover of art, especially outsider artists I was amazed that I’d never heard about Rectory Road Nurseries and the artistic work of Kevin Duffy. It was by shear fluke I came across the Nursery and yet it’s been established over 40 years.
The nursery and Kevins work doesn’t stop at creating sculptures and grottos, he also provides tours for schools. So that children can learn how they can be creative with very little and also how they can grow their own plants and vegetables. The nursery also donates many hundreds of plants to schools, charities and good causes. The whole nursery operation and art installations is a way of life to Kevin and his son, providing many hours of joy and inspiration to hundreds of children and members of the general public who are aware of the nursery and the works of art. What’s more any donations made whilst people visit the sculptures also gets passed on to charities.
What no website!
Whilst chatting to Kevin and his son I soon found out that they had never had a website, they didn’t know much about the web but had been shown videos on Youtube made over the years by friends and supporters of the nursery. Kevin happened to drop in that he had ‘been on the BBC One Show’ many years ago, but other than that people find out about the nursery and the art by word of mouth or shear chance.
Although an appearance on the BBC is sure to bring some attention the effects are short lived, the online world is dominant today and lets face it if you don’t watch the One Show then you aren’t going to know about this mini Portmeirion style art oasis.
So effectively Kevin and Carls old world attitude to tech, and the fact they know what they know and simply get on with it, ensures few people in Wigan and the North West know about this great little place and the good work they do.
All that changed recently when they’re new website launched. WN6 created a simple but effective website free of charge (with zero catches). The website showcases the nursery, hardware store and artwork whilst providing them with a small foot hold online.
Here’s to a bright future for Kevin and Carl, long may their good work and art continue, they deserve it!
Take a visit, support and share the love for this great Nursery and the two super characters that create it.