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Eden Project Artwork Blooms For First Time

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Eden Project Artwork Blooms For First Time

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Check out this incredible installation at the Eden Project in Cornwall.

Romally Coverdale

Fri 10 Jun 2022

A stunning new installation is now blooming in the Eden Project in Cornwall for the first time.

Titled as Pollinator Pathmaker, the artwork was created as a part of the Create A Buzz programme at the Eden Project.

Funded by the Garfield Weston Foundation, with additional support from Gaia Art Foundation, and in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, the living artwork was created to explore the importance of pollinators in ecosystems.

What the living artwork stands for

Constructed in 2021, the Pollinator Pathmaker is a 55-metre-long living artwork designed by Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg. Located in the Wild Edge zone of the outdoor gardens, the artwork is visible from the world-famous Biomes.

The artwork itself is composed of seven thousand plants from 64 different species, in a bid to attract local pollinators and support the ecosystem.

As well as supporting the local biodiversity, the artwork asks probing questions: ‘what makes a garden?’ and ‘who are gardens for?’.

Gardens are often seen purely for human benefit, but with the recent and dramatic decline in pollinators, we are all beginning to realise and remember that we share the planet, including our gardens, with incredibly important creatures.

The dramatic decline in pollinator populations is due to the human impact on the environment: habitat loss, the use of pesticides, invasive species, and climate change.

The Pollinator Pathmaker challenges us to think about who gardens are for

Since flowering, the attraction has been attracting both human and pollinating visitors.

Misha Curson, the Senior Curator at the Eden Project, stated that “Pollinator Pathmaker has the transformative agency to both inspire and empower its audiences. Technology, nature, human empathy and restorative activism all contribute to the material and aesthetic poetry of the artwork.”

The architecture of the Pollinator Pathmaker

With Ginsberg’s artistic practice, Pollinator Pathmaker also uses technology to increase awareness of the tragic loss of pollinators; the public (located anywhere in Northern Europe) can design and plant their own Pollinator Pathmaker.

The website generates the recommended planting schemes based on the user’s plot size and garden conditions, with the aim of the garden being ‘empathetic’ to pollinating insects.

The users can also watch a 3D visualisation and animation of their garden in bloom that changes throughout the year as flowers for different pollinators emerge.

pollinator pathmaker software

This is the algorithm that was used for the Pollinator Pathmaker, in a way to determine which plants, and locations of the plants, were best for the pollinators. The aim was to support the widest variety of pollinators as possible.

Ginsberg states that “It’s been wonderful to observe the first garden grow and begin to bloom over the winter at Eden and to be already hosting so many pollinating visitors.”

The artwork is designed to be accommodating to pollinators all year round, as well as an educational experience for visitors.

This artwork comes at an incredibly crucial time in recent history with respect to conservation and rewilding work.

In the UK, there are over 250 species of bee that play a crucial role in pollination, but they also pollinate alongside flies, beetles, wasps, moths, and butterflies.

bee on plants

Final thoughts

Ginsberg states that the “idea is to give us a sense of agency.” The Pollinator Pathmaker was designed to inspire people to take the project home: to make their own pollinator pathway at home.

The goal is to create a variety of pollinator, and eco-friendly artworks around the world.

Let's share the appreciation of our local pollinators by planting some pollinator-friendly plants.

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