Monday, August 11, 2008


Sat 21 & Sun 22 June 2008
At the Bluecoat, Liverpool
A live event by Adela Jones

Grains of Paradise: The launch event for an incredible collection of giant plants nurtured by Liverpool’s Botanical Specialists: Over 130 people attended this event over the two days, during 6 intimate interactive tours of the plants. Adela Jones devised this event in collaboration with a group of families from Liverpool. It was hosted by the Bluecoat and forms part of Fragrant, a citywide project commissioned by Liverpool Culture Company, which explores Liverpool’s Botanical Collection.

Guided by the ‘Head Grower’ visitors were given a unique introduction to the plants and opportunities to interact with the more unusual specimens. Every visitor was presented with floral leis by the assistant botanist and invited by one of the gardeners to name and plant a glittering rich coloured seed they had been given on arrival, whilst being serenaded by a grand piano solo of the well known song Mud, Mud Glorious Mud. Once the seeds were planted a medical screen on wheels was pulled back to reveal four magnificent plants:

Sonitus Contemno - Noise Hater
This plant loves the shade and has an unusual sensitivity to loud noise and touch; it flowers once every 8-9 years. On display it opened its giant leaves to reveal a stunning flower when stroked gently on its leaves but kept suddenly closing up each time Radix Emanio let off a loud noise.

Familiaris Presul - Friendly Dancer
A fast growing friendly plant that craves attention, this specimen was very popular during the tours – it went to seed on clothing of unsuspecting visitors sprinkling red seeds that looked like glitter off its tendrils.

Radix Emanio - Rooty Spreader
A member of the mint family this highly irritant difficult to manage plant lets off regular gassy explosions, visitors assisted the gardeners with the daily task of keeping its rampantly growing roots under control using giant dibbers specially designed for this purpose.

Magnus Imbibo - Big Drinker
Originally coming from dry areas of the tropics this plant usually manages to survive in desert conditions storing water for months at a time in its plump leaves. Grown in captivity it has not had the usual fight for survival; this has made it very demanding. During the tours this plant was heard by visitors gasping for a drink and asking for water, they helped keep it quiet by squirting it with water.

After the special plant introductions, visitors were ushered through to witness Botanist, Dr. Pollard performing a live plant dissection. On a giant block spot lit in four corners. The visitors were instructed to stand in a circle around this large specimen: They were invited to taste the sweet pollen of the plant; who became increasingly agitated as they did so – the event concluded as the noise of the wailing dissected plant became unbearable. The plants may be seen on display again in September 2008 at Croxteth Park in Liverpool.

Alan Crombie, Jade Crombie, Faye Crombie, Kali & Charlie, Adela Jones
Will Pollard, Charlotte Tupper, Sally Grimwood, Matthew Keogh, Sian Jones,
Helen Jones, Gerallt Jones, Annie McClean.
Thank you very much to everyone who worked on this project! It was great fun!
Photographs by Andrew Brooks


Blogger wastedpapiers said...

Sounds incredibly bizarre and fun! You must invite us next time you do one of your performances.

7:14 AM  

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