Art Works: Helen Taylor

Tuesday 08 July 2014
reading time: min, words

Have you seen that bed filled with wildflowers knocking about in Notts? The lady behind it gave us an insight into the project


I am currently co-curating the Creative Quarter Articulture project with artist Sarah Manton, and as part of the launch I created a wildflower bed installation - a double bed planted with wildflower turf - with the help of Sarah, her partner Terry and Rob Howie-Smith.

The inspiration for the installation came from myself and Sarah brainstorming ideas for how we could create something impactful for the project launch. We were thinking about unusual items to put plants in and decided that it had to be something that would be too big to move from a public space. A bed seemed perfect and we quickly thought of the associated play on words. We bought the bed-frame from eBay and transported it to the yard at The Corner where the planting box was constructed out of wood by Rob Howie Smith. The wildflower meadow turf was sourced from Tillers Turf in Lincolnshire and was chosen by myself from the field when I collected it. The turf was laid on top of compost and watered before the bed was carried out to Hockley Square where it was positioned along with some hand-cut Articulture bunting created by Sarah. After a short stay it was moved to the newly opened Cobden Chambers, where it’s currently residing.

It’s had a very positive response from retailers and members of the public. It was slept in from the first night onwards so the turf was flattened every morning, but this seemed to be an acceptable use for it, given its obvious comfort and the needs of the community. It was a prominent feature in Hockley Square that demonstrated the positive effect of green space within the urban environment and raised awareness of the Articulture project. I graduated with a BSc in Environment Design and Management from NTU in 2012 following an RHS course and a foundation degree in horticulture. I am passionate about plants and increasing the amount of green-space in the built environment. I started my own business because of urban greening project opportunities in Nottingham and support from The Hive at NTU.

With an unlimited budget, I’d like to redesign Sneinton Square to give it a more balanced proportion of green space. With a smaller budget, I would install mobile green space in the market area that could be moved for events, and I would install a green roof on The Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust Headquarters.

The Wildflower Bed will be on display at Cobden Chambers throughout Summer 2014.

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