Raisin & Willow

Raisin & Willow is the creative collaboration of Jonathan Raisin and Elizabeth Willow, two artists, performers and project creators based in Liverpool. They began working together in 2009 and their first major project was Making Time, commissioned by Nuffield Theatre at Lancaster University. Their work brings together their collective skills as musician, writer, director, visual artist and dancer to explore innovative approaches to performance and installation work.

Jonathan Raisin is a composer, writer and project director. During the 1990’s he was artistic director of the multi-media performance company, HUB, whose work toured nationally. Subsequently he has worked as a performing musician, as composer for dance/theatre performance, and as a project creator and music promoter. Recent projects include, The Rightful Owners of the Song, with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and local pub singers, commissioned by Liverpool Capital of Culture.

Elizabeth Willow is a fine artist based in Liverpool. Her work uses sculpture, installation, text and performance to find meaning and tell stories, exploring our relationships with objects, place and time. Her practice is increasingly site-specific, and she has exhibited and performed in woods, tunnels, falling-down houses, several art galleries and museums, a dilapidated Victorian theatre, a railway station, and a garden.

Making Time (2009-2010) Nuffield Theatre (Live at LICA), Lancaster.

jonathanwellies     lilywellies

Project Outline

How might a performance last an entire year? How do we mark time and how does it mark us? How can we make the time to make art?

Making Time was a commission to explore ideas of time and endurance; performance and presence, within the framework of one year. In response to this brief we decided to create a garden in the heart of the concrete university campus. We had not gardened before.

We occupied a shady, neglected space outside the theatre and gallery and began. We had a shed with a piano and a pergola for climbing plants. We were present for 60 days during the year and, though we hosted some open days and musical events, it was our labours, our simple presence, that constituted the performance. The garden was broadcast on a webcam and we wrote occasional newsletters printed on brown paper. Sometimes people stopped to chat; sometimes people simply  stood and stared. In our absence the garden also grew and changed. And when the year was up, we left.


Making Time. Limited edition artists’ book (Lancaster University Publication).

A limited edition set of ‘cigarette cards’. Photographic images with fragments of text.


Gathering Time. (2011) An archive of the project running in parallel with a wider Time Pieces exhibition co-curated by Peter Scott Gallery and Raisin & Willow.


In the spring of 2011 we hosted a Making Time symposium at LancasterUniversity with contributions from academics, performance practitioners and environmental artists.


The MakingTimeGarden remains, a quiet and creeping presence within the concrete campus. It is used informally, and has hosted projects and residencies; eg. Maja Bugge project- http://majabugge.com/?page_id=88


Your garden is important. I have on occasion wandered past and also studied it from afar. I know that over the year you have created an unassuming wonder, a small garden of change… It draws the curious and it feeds the imagination with its delicate home-made-ness recalling for the curious, lost dens and childhood dreams… An artwork that usefully crosses the boundaries between the way we live our lives and the fashioned fragments we generate as we go along.       John Fox (founder- Welfare State International)

Raisin & Willow can be found here

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