Installation, 2,000 hand made pink pomo poms, copper stalks
Wheal Art Weekend
‘strange flowering’ was a temporary installation made on the site of a former tin mine at South Wheal Frances, near Redruth in Cornwall. Part of Wheal Art Weekend, devised and organised by the artist Alison Sharkey, eleven artists presented temporary interventions over two days.
‘strange flowering’ was made of 2,000 hand-made pink woollen pom-poms marking the south-west/north-east orientation of the Great Flat Lode, a particularly rich mineral seam which supported the mine for two decades during the 19th and 20th centuries. The work referenced the presence of thrift (or sea pinks) in areas of high mineral concentrations. Research into the records of medieval treatises revealed how the presence of particular plants could indicate mineral seams (or lodes) below ground which often informed decisions about where to dig, although most excavations followed more obvious signs such as metals in rivers or changes in the landscape. Other, more ephemeral, signs included the taste of water and the appearance of hoar frost (which melted more quickly in the presence of metal deposits).
Wheal Art Weekend was reviewed by Megan Wakefield for a-n.