In Our Hands

  • Title of artwork: In Our Hands (temporary commission)
  • Materials: Drought tolerant plants and peat free compost
  • Location: Valley Gardens, then St. Ann's Wells Gardens
  • Artists: Kathryn Jordan and Cliff Wright
  • Date: April  2007-May 2008
  • Information download: In Our Hands [PDF 331kb]

'In Our Hands' was a temporary living sculpture showing a human torso emerging from the ground with an arm stretched in front and a tree growing from the palm. The artwork was commissioned as part of Eco-Brighton which went with Brighton & Hove Arts Commission's 'Making a Difference' programme. This programme was designed to help raise awareness of environmental issues through art and to provide opportunities for artists to engage in environmental debate. The artwork was based on our relationship with the environment; the idea that we are from the earth and we hold its future in our hands. 

The sculpture was made entirely from drought resistant plants. The artists' began their detailed research and development work on the sculpture in the spring of 2006. They considered construction methods and which plants would be suitable in terms of drought and air pollution tolerance, maintenance and look. A suitable peat-free compost mix also had to be found to meet the specific requirements of the brief. Over 5,500 individual plants were used; the shoulder, hand and face were made up of sedums and sempervivums, which are drought tolerant, ground covering plants. The rest of the head was planted with grasses and ivy to create the effect of hair. Once all the frames had been planted they were left to establish at the nursery over the winter, inside poly-tunnels.  'In Our Hands' was initially installed on the south side of St. Peter's Church in April 2007 and was then moved to St. Ann's Wells Gardens, Hove from June 2007 until May 2008.

See the next artwork: I have great desire, My desire is great