Simple stuff to be happy about (Spontaneous City – London Fieldworks)

Duncan Terrace Gardens
Islington, London, N1
19 July, 2010 ongoing

Cremorne Gardens
Chelsea, London, SW10
19 July, 2010 ongoing

London Fieldworks’ Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven is a sculptural installation drawing on the ecology and biodiversity of two sites on opposite sides of London: Duncan Terrace Gardens in the East and Cremorne Gardens in the West. The installations are constructed from several hundred bespoke bird boxes mounted in two trees of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) and reflect the forms of the surrounding architecture; a combination of Georgian town houses, and 60’s social housing around Duncan Terrace Gardens, and the World’s End Estate adjacent to Cremorne Gardens. Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven has developed out of a recent London Fieldworks project, Super Kingdom, commissioned by Stour Valley Arts for Kings Wood in Kent, where ‘show homes’ for animals were constructed based on the architecture of despot’s palaces.

“As an added layer of biodiversity speak, there’s irony in the title of the “Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven” project. The “tree of heaven” or Ailanthus altissima, a deciduous tree native to both northeast and central China and Taiwan, is actually a tree species of much botanical interest in London, and elsewhere in England generally. Essentially, a lot of people are quite concerned that this ornamental turn invasive species is poised to rocket in numbers. It’s one of the fastest growing trees around, it’s allelopathic (meaning it produces a chemical that inhibits the growth or other plants), and its seed production capabilities are almost unmatched”. David Ng

The installations have been commissioned for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Islington Council by up projects as part of their Secret Garden Project ; a new programme of artists commissions and events for secret gardens, lesser known green spaces, and urban corners across London. They will be in situ for three years.

Simple stuff to be happy about (Spontaneous City – London Fieldworks).