Heavy Gardening Art Trail
Heavy Gardening is a trail of seven art works, running from the back of FACT on Fleet Street, along the Baltic Corridor to Wapping Dock, produced by internationally renowned artist Andrew Merritt of Something & Son, in partnership with dot-art, Open Eye Gallery and First Take, as part of Liverpool City Council’s Urban GreenUP, project which seeks to raise awareness about the future predicted impacts of climate change. Andrew has transformed seven small pieces of public infrastructure and human engineering to make them useful habitats for other species.
(Struggling to find any of the sculptures? You can find their exact locations marked on this interactive map)
Heavy Gardening will launch on Light Night 2021 on Friday 21st May.
Or book onto a guided Photowalk with Open Eye Gallery’s Andy Yates.
Andy will take you between the seven art installations, inviting you to capture the trail and take part in a series of photography challenges.
There are 12 FREE places available on each session.
The title Heavy Gardening is based on the idea that humanity, in light of the Earth’s huge loss of biodiversity, needs to scale up and reevaluate the existing things we have at our disposal, making them of use to other species as well – a billboard becomes a roost for bats and air ducting a home for sparrows. Expanding upon the religious roadside shrines found around the world, the trail of seven sculptures acts as a little pilgrimage, where the venerated are not Gods or people, but offer us the chance to remember and give thanks to some of the other species that call Earth home.
Alongside the artworks, we have worked with local communities to produce seven short films, accessed by QR codes at each site. These will highlight various aspects of the project, showcase nature-based artworks made by community groups and encourage local people to see the benefits of greening their environment.
The sculptures were made in collaboration with Local Works Studio and Dewi Uridge.
Liverpool is one of the three pioneer cities for the Urban GreenUP project along with Vallodolid in Spain, and Izmir in Turkey. The scheme aims to renature urban areas, to mitigate the effects of climate change, improve air quality and water management and increase the sustainability of our cities through innovative nature-based solutions. The project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme.
As well as the art trail, a number of nature-based solutions have been implemented throughout the Baltic Triangle area as part of the Urban GreenUP project, including a floating ecosystem in Wapping Dock, planted street trees, and the living green walls in Parr Street and the St Johns Shopping Centre. These green interventions will play a role in mitigating climate change, as well as in improving the air and water quality of our city.
Now we are working with Lancashire Wildlife Trust to share your observations of wildlife and tell us if these interventions are having a positive impact on urban wildlife and biodiversity and we are asking for your help!
Anyone can get involved in wildlife recording. The app, iNaturalist, empowers everyday nature lovers to upload records of the wildlife they observe around the Baltic Triangle area. Create an account, then upload a wildlife record to iNaturalist as an image or audio recording. The app’s identification technology allows users to easily identify what they have spotted, which other iNaturalist users can then confirm or query in the comments.
Submitting observations is a quick and simple process that can help make a difference to our understanding of urban wildlife in the Baltic Triangle area. The greater the number of observations we gather, the better the experts can evaluate the environmental impacts of the Urban GreenUP project.
Lancashire Wildlife Trust and Merseyside BioBank have created an online iNaturalist project that automatically collates all the wildlife records taken in the area. Have a go at uploading your own records and comparing them to others!
To find out more about wildlife recording events in the Baltic Triangle area, visit: lancswt.org.uk/events
Watch the 7 short films, created by First Take, as part of the Heavy Gardening Trail:
Something & Son
Something & Son (Andy Merritt and Paul Smyth) explores social and environmental issues via everyday scenarios. Through permanent installations, functional sculptures and public performance projects re-imagine the systems required to sustain communities and ecologies existence by building platforms for them to live.
Exhibitions include a solo show at Tate Britain; Tate Modern; V&A Museum; Manchester International Festival; Gwangju Biennale, South Korea; Artangel; Milan Design Week, Italy; Cultural Olympia; Somerset House Trust; Folkestone Art Triennial, UK; Arts Catalyst; Deon Foundation, The Netherlands; The Design Museum, London; MAK/Vienna Biennale, Austria; Kinsale Arts Festival, Ireland; Arts Council Wales; Royal Botanical Gardens Kew; the Wellcome Collection, UK; and Istanbul Design Biennial, Turkey. Upcoming solo exhibitions include Whitstable Biennial, UK; major new permanent sculptures in the River Thames and Milton Keynes, a series of sculptures across Liverpool and a food based project supported by Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.
They have given have talks and workshops at the Serpentine Gallery, Kunst-Werke, Berlin; the Science Museum, London; SALT, Istanbul; Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute, Zurich; CIT, Ireland; Design Museum, London; Royal College of Art, London; Central Saint Martins, London; Riga Technical University, Latvia; Design Indaba, Cape Town; British Council, ICA, The World Around, New York; Oct Gallery, China; and the Barbican.