Crocosmia × is a participatory project devised and developed by Clodagh Emoe from a previous collaborative project, The Plurality of Existence…, initiated by the artist in partnership with Spirasi (a non-government organisation that supports survivors of torture who are asylum seekers, refugees and disadvantaged migrant groups). The name refers to a corm of the Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora (more commonly known as Montbretia) found when gardening in Spirasi. This wild flower found throughout Ireland is in fact native to South Africa, and offered a symbol of hope for refugees, people who are uprooted, forced to leave their homeland and create a new life for themselves in a foreign land. Its domain in the Irish landscape questions the problematic of the term “foreigner” and puts to task the notion of “native”.
Crocosmia × was cultivated as a metaphor for diversity and inclusion in Ireland. Working with Hallah Farhan Dawood, Ragad Farhan Dawood, Papy Kahoya Kasongo, Romeo Kibambe Kitenge, Fatemeh and Mohamad, plants were gathered from large garden estates, rural farms, suburban gardens and inner city backyards, exchanging poems written by the Crocosmia working group for specimens of Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora. The plants and poems informed a series of workshops in local primary and secondary schools which led to the artwork Crocosmia × in IMMA and companion artworks in TUD campus Grangegorman, Mosney Direct Provision Centre, D7 Educate Together Primary School, St. Paul’s Secondary School, Brunswick St. and St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Stanhope Street.
Crocosmia × was commissioned by ‘…the lives we live’ Grangegorman Public Art, funded by Dublin City Council and supported by IMMA and OPW.
Dedicated to the memory of Siniša Končić
Reflections on A Radical Plot is an ecological archive of wild plants that are growing in the artwork, Crocosmia ×, 2018. It responds to the quiet evolution of Crocosmia ×, witnessing the natural process of self-seeding in the thirty plant species which have appeared and transformed this plot into a valuable ecosystem.
The project incorporates fieldwork on site and plant identification with ecologist Sandra Murphy, IMMA and Charlotte Salter-Townsend, public historian/plant researcher at National Botanical Gardens of Ireland. The images in the archive are created by the plants themselves, the natural essence drawn from the plant and “saddened’ onto paper. Each companion print is a trace of the plant.
Reflections on A Radical Plot responds to the urgent crisis of biodiversity crisis by revealing and celebrating the value of these ‘weeds’ as a valuable resource and a sensible reminder that diversity is the natural state of being.