Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Saturday Market Project

I am working on a lovely commission for the wonderful 'Saturday Market Project.' They are an amazing company celebrating, making, good design and products. What they say 'We explore ways to draw new audiences into the making process, led by a belief in experimentation, collaboration, skill-sharing and good design.'
I have been asked to work on a flower pressing kit, which is all about helping people to explore and appreciate Urban Nature. This is so far up my street at the moment, I had hoped to make some new work with the Brownfield Ikebana ideas, and this feels like it is going in the right direction. I have been able to combine a few of the things I have been thinking and working with over the past few years.
My approach has been to consider some of the exploring kits and site excavations I have been doing recently, with the research into the Victorian Language of Flowers. I have looked at a variety of flowers that can be found growing abundantly in cities, but which also have meanings within the Language of Flowers. These have been selected, and then a relevant instruction put together for users of the SMP kit.
I had created 21 plant instructions, which the SMP chose 12 of. I then created drawing to accompany the texts.
Here are some of the drawings and plants that didn't make it.
1.     Ragwort  – I am humble but proud ‘The humble ragwort quietly nods its head in the breeze: it has many kin – is there one that you recognise?’
1.       Coltsfoot – justice shall be done you ‘The law enforcers do their best to keep man in check in the city – but nature on the other hand has its unruly way. Coltsfoot, where found pervades – what else is cocking a snook at the enforcers?’
1.       Thistle – misanthropy ‘The city and nature are at war, locate the plant that shows the most resistance to man’s need to build.’
The Kit is coming along, and will launch at London Design Festival, where I will be leading a tour of Urban Nature Sites, and we will use the field guide to look for clues and uncover secrets in the city.
Details are available here:
The workshop/tour will be on Saturday 20th September from 2.30 - 5pm in Shoreditch.
The guide was really beautifully made by SMP - hand cut paper and hand stitched.
The urban nature tour I did in Shoreditch was really well received. It was quite a funny thing to arrive in Shoreditch in the morning and scope out the area in order to plan a tour for the afternoon! I am more used to leading tours in familiar places.