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Irish horticulture and art project set for September public launch

Crocosmia × is part of The Plurality of Existence - an art project initiated and developed by artist Clodagh Emoe in collaboration with asylum seekers. Photo: Dr Emoe.

The Plurality of Existence seeks to use Crocosmia × crocosmiiflorathis - a familiar and evocative wild flower - to redefine the notion of “native”.



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30 August 2018

In March we wrote about The Plurality of Existence, an art project that aims to represent hidden narratives from those who are inadequately represented in society.

From its beginnings in the garden of the Spirasi Centre in Dublin – an organisation that works with asylum seekers, refugees, and other disadvantaged migrant groups – the project created a shared space of equality and dignity for its members.

Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora is the scientific name for the common Montbretia plant found along country roads in rural Ireland. The corm of this flower was unearthed while gardening in Spirasi.

“This wild flower – found throughout the Irish countryside – is in fact a native of South Africa. In digging up this corm, we found a metaphor of hope for our group, who had themselves been uprooted and forced to leave their homeland and create a new life for themselves in a foreign land.

“The aim is to cultivate this metaphor through a series of workshops that bring art and horticulture together in local primary and secondary schools.” said Dr Clodagh Emoe, artist and lecturer at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT).

Now the project is getting ready for its two upcoming public launches:

Public Launch of Crocosmia × at IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art)

  • Saturday September 8, at 1 pm.
  • A family friendly event in the front lawn of IMMA, with music and poetry written and recited by Siniša Končić, Marie Claire Mundi Njong, and Jean-Marie Rukundo Phillemon.
  • Bring your family, friends and a picnic and enjoy the beautiful formal gardens of IMMA.
  • Special thanks to Janice Hough, Coordinator of the Artists’ Residency programme and Mary Conlon, OPW, Head Gardener of IMMA/RHK and her team who worked tirelessly with the project team throughout the entire project, from guiding them through the process of planting the corms, nurturing the plants in the nursery, to planting the wild flowers on site in along the fringes of the entrance to the RHK. Special thanks to artist Eoin Mac Laughlainn who assisted the project team with the artwork.

Public Launch of Crocosmia × at Grangegorman Campus

  • Culture Night, Friday, September 21, at 6pm.
  • Open invitation to gather in the intimate outdoor auditorium beside the playing fields next to the tree lined Avenue to hear the poetry of Crocosmia;
  • From September 21 to October 7.
  • Voices in Kinyarwanda, Luganda, Croatian and Urdu will echo above this intimate space while these wild flowers are in bloom.
  • Special thanks to Jenny Haughton, Public Arts Coordinator, Grangegorman Public Art, Lori Keeve, GGDA and Derek Bowden’s Grangegorman Estates Team in particular Himzo Kazar. Special thanks to Adam, Keith and Dylan from St. Paul’s secondary school, Brunswick Street who assisted the team with this artwork.

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