The Chimera Plantarium Project | Chiara Dellerba and Edna G Olds Academy
July – September 2019
As part of the Making Place programme, artist Chiara Dellerba is working with children at Edna G Olds Academy to design a public mural in a newly developed area of Lenton.
We tend to think of cities as concrete jungles, but our urban environment is immersed in plant life. Wild plants have taken root along roadsides and chain-link fences, between cracks of pavement, and within vacant lots, rubble dumps and highway medians. Spontaneously propagating, these resilient plants find distinctive niches to thrive in and inhabit our most derelict landscapes. The environmental benefits of these ‘weeds’ go widely unrecognised, however reframing this often invisible urban ecology as a beneficial amenity offers a fresh perspective on our neighbourhoods.
Working with the Year 5 Class at Edna G Olds Academy, Chiara Dellerba invited children to map their locality, re-imagining the area from the perspective of plants. Through a series of workshops they created The Chimera Plantarium: a visual, imaginative archive where human and non-human forms come together as an hybrid species – half plant and half human. The results of their collaborative process became the material for a new public artwork that will be installed in September.
This project is kindly supported by Nottingham City Council.