Between March 1997 and February 1998, Benedict Phillips and Anne-Marie Culhane were working undercover in Hyde Park, Leeds producing a range of innovative and magical artworks which explore environmental art in an urban context. Once a month, the artists created a new work relating to the environment of the park, the changing seasons and human and animal activity within the park.
The body of work, called Fragile, includes reactions and responses to the work by the wide variety of park users. Many of the images lived, weathered and decayed in the park, others were removed, destroyed or collected and took on new lives. For example, in April a tree in the centre of the park was filled with golden apples. As the fruits fell from the tree they were collected by inquisitive passers by. In July, cherries were harvested from trees in the park, made into wine, bottled and buried. An antique map and child's poem pointed the way to this buried treasure.
Each work can be read in a number of ways, but the basis of Fragile is the renewed exploration of the natural life cycle and a reflection on how we relate to an urban green space. Fragile continues to play on the boundary between life and art so keep your eyes open!
Fragile is only part way through its life cycle. In April there was an exhibition in Hyde Park Pavilion where objects, images, film footage and stories were revealed and this provided an opportunity for people to feedback and participate more knowingly. The show tours to the Vorwerk Gallery in Hamburg (July) and The Orangery, Holland Park, London (October). All the venues are located in green spaces. Fragile are offering lectures and participatory workshops with schools and colleges and preparing an interactive website, a bookwork and a catalogue. Being presented in many different ways, Fragile gives the opportunity for everyone to experience their green spaces creatively.
© Benedict Phillips 1998
site woven by