Nurturing, prototype #42019
Site-specific installation in the server room
Materials: Warwickshire earth, Welsh turf, Belgian sand and natural specimens, fluorescent light fittings, wooden sticks, motion sensor, junction box, cabling and plug
For the Coventry Biennial, Anne-Mie Melis installed two Nurturing units in the disused server room on the second floor at The Row.
Red Clover, Broadleaf Plantain, Dandelion and grasses are some of the specimens that are first covered and then lighted up by one of the units. They are growing on welsh turf brought in from Pontypridd Wales, where Melis is living. The other unit is nurturing soil and dried plants brought in from Warwickshire and Belgium where the artist visited family over the summer. Both units are honouring the theme of the biennial by twinning soil from Wales, England and Belgium.
The installation itself creates 'an incongruous artificial environment'. The work seeks to 'experiment with the idea of tending to growing plants by first sheltering it from direct light and then providing it, at the discretion of the viewer, with artificial light for growth.' This active participation on the part of the viewer illustrates the notion that our environment is by no means immune to our actions and that our influence on the world around us, however slight or localised, has global ramifications beyond borders.