URBAN BLUEBELLS installation 2012

Patio Projects #6 at WW Gallery, 5th – 29th April 2012

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We are of the landscape and yet today, virtually everywhere, the landscape reflects us.

As an artist I am an observer. I seek to respond to and record our human relationship with the landscape around us. I am fascinated by the changes that take place; natural cycles as well as the influence of humanity. What will we seek to preserve for the future? What is already lost? How do we quantify what is precious when it is all our natural inheritance? I am not providing the answers but seeking to provoke questions and thoughtfulness in the viewers of my work.

URBAN BLUEBELLS is an installation of 6 sq metres of flowering Bluebells at the WW Gallery Patio in Hackney, in April 2012. The plants will follow their own biorhythm and move towards flowering over the course of April. A fleeting show of beauty, they will emerge into an incongruous urban setting. I seek to highlight the fragility of this much loved floral emblem of the UK and the future threat to the Bluebells’ continued existence as it suffers from cross-hybridisation from the imported Spanish bluebell, the rise in spring temperatures and earlier Spring leaf emergence in woodlands which are signs of our changing climate.

The phenomenon of the mass flowering of this much-loved bulb is a wonder. To visit a Bluebell wood is to step into a rich, sensual pleasure – the incredible saturated blue and a heady scent. Can we stop this loss or do we accept that our world will continue on, poorer for the disappearance of such wonderous natural events? The only thing that is known is that time moves ever forward and nothing stays the same. I present the Bluebells to the viewer as a flat expanse, a raised bed bringing them up high enough for closer inspection. Perhaps I am subverting the Parks tradition of massed planting of annual bedding plants. Only the Bluebell is a wildflower. Yet nor is the Patio a woodland. Nothing is as it seems. The installation is quiet, progress towards flowering is slow, people may walk past and not notice. One day the blue might catch their eye, it is remarkable.

I will be writing about the progress of the installation over at the Blog.

At the end of the month, the public is invited to help plant out the Bluebells when the artist donates them to the nearby Hackney Downs. This community planting event will take place on 29th April, 2012. Meet outside WW Gallery at 11:00am to help transport the Bluebells across the park. Or meet at the planting location by the Community Orchard in the NW corner of Hackney Downs. Bring a picnic to enjoy after the planting has taken place on the Downs.

Help the research into the flowering times of Bluebells by logging any sighting of first flowerings at http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/british-natural-history/survey-bluebells/index.html

Report into how the data collected on early Spring flowering is used: http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/en/news-media/releases/Pages/first-flowering-report.aspx#.T3tTMo7Gllo

A limited Edition print of the photo Bluebells,  will be available from WW Gallery.

     C-Type Photo print edition of 50. Printed on Kodak Metallic paper.


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  1. Pingback: Community bluebell planting at Hackney Downs | Hackney Citizen

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