Wednesday, 2 April 2008

A Nice Green Leaf: The Pansy Project


It's not often that I find my gardening news on Facebook, but in this case the story was too interesting to miss. In a queer political twist on the idea of guerilla gardening, Paul Harfleet's Pansy Project plants pansies at the site of homophobic attacks. 

Looking at the photos, I waver between wanting to laugh at the humour with which Harfleet demolishes all sense of the ranked lines of pansies in public parks planting (see his straight line bisecting the park at Homotopia, Liverpool) and feeling really sad about the abuse that the work is actually addressing.

As a result, I love the idea: it's simple, powerful and serious, but has this touch of plaintive lightness with those brightly-coloured blooms.

Harfleet acknowledges the fact that sometimes the pansies
don't survive. Oftentimes, though, they do, and go on to seed
themselves. They are such happy looking little flowers, with what
almost looks like a face. Sweetly smiling, despite being planted in hostile places, their brave, sturdy little way of growing adds loads to the strength of the idea.

(Photo from the Pansy Project)

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