Invasive Ivy was devised from flower garlands I developed to run recycling workshops using Recycled HDPE plastic milk containers. I created three types of garland. Ivy leaves which make up the bulk of the installation and also more complex flowering and seeded ivy.
Invasive Ivy (Original Statement)
English Ivy (Hedera helix) is a species of native ivy which is a versatile plant, being able to cover significant ground and able to climb as well. It grows well in the shade and is ideal for covering barren areas under trees, it crowds out weeds, helps stop ground erosion, climbs and cascades walls. With its evergreen foliage it’s a great ornamental plant which provides rich nectar for insects and fruit for birds.
But it is considered an invasive weed in parts of Australia and the United States. Due to human introduction as an ornamental plant it has widely spread, invading forests, salt marshes, woodlands and fields. Growing at ground level as well as reaching up into the forest canopy, it suppresses native vegetation engulfing everything and preventing light reaching the other plant life.
First shown as a small hanging piece part of a recycling show, De-junk, Re-junk in 2012 this installation has grown through the addition of workshops with Bluecoat Display Centre at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital where patients participated in a recycling project that turned plastic milk containers into the leafed invasive ivy.
The finished work was installed at the hospital and can still be seen on display there. To find out more about this residency visit: Making an Impact.
A small installation of additional pieces made through the workshops was also shown at the Threshold Festival at the Camp and Furnace in Liverpool representing my project to help promote community arts events like 'Making an impact' with The Bluecoat Display Centre.
The most recent installation of my ivy simply known as 'Ivy installation' was produced for 'The Send Off' at the National Trust Orangery at Knole House, Sevenoaks, Kent as a response to WW1.
Ivy has a long history of being associated with both remembrance and everlasting love.
This piece was dedicated to the memory of my Great Uncle Frederick Hughes. An oil painter, he changed his palette for a candle during the war, holding a billy can above it so that the smoke would become grounds on which he could work, using his finger or twig to draw into the soot.
Frederick Hughes died in Flanders on December 19th 1917.
Photograph courtesy of Franny Swann