Vegetating Inside Out, Installation, Plants, Wire, 'Terra Nexus', Proposition Studios, London, 2021
Installation made with Ellen Pearson
Sprouting and wilting, our gardened wilderness is in fact carefully composed, planted, placed and painted, with the help of our mums. These plants were sourced from commons and garden centres. Each plant a UK native, they were woven together with an air of childhood nostalgia and fantasies of green idylls. The process of scavenging around commons harks back to the producers’ cooperatives and systems of collective ownership that these plots of land were initially created to bring about. In the work’s creation, we were called on to contemplate the resurrection of a now foggy, or otherwise unknown, memory of the sharing of public land and the future potential for collective agriculture.
The moss revives and dies, and is revived again, upheaved from mossy mountain rocks to be woven through chicken wire structures. By watering our artificial garden daily, it is nurtured and cared for and grows, yet its expiry looms. For the most part, it will take on an endless process of rebirth, being repotted in different locations to eventually settle as a permanent part-dried, part-alive micro field-woodland hybrid (a permanent library of sorts, we hope…). Both fake and real, our plot reflects tensions between invented ideals of ‘naturalness’ and the reality of landscapes within which we live, both pastoral and cityscape.