Welcome: temporary guerrilla turfing

I have an ongoing interested in landscape in its widest term, and am drawn to tracing the narratives of space and place that are embedded in the encultured landscape. But I keep getting drawn back to notions of power and its presence in physical and economic spaces of the city.

The council near my studio recently installed some antiterrorism blocks in front of a public square. The square is at a pedestrian crossroad, both a resting and transit space, near a busy road. It was previously a visually and physically open place, in the middle of a highly multicultural community. The line of blocks created a physical dotted line de-marking the square; not there one day, there the next.

I was torn- recognising the risk, acknowledging terrible events that have occurred in public spaces in other countries, but saddened by the physical, cultural and psychological closure that these blocks created. I felt it was necessary to respond on behalf of the city that I knew.

The response was a series of cut turf rectangles, bearing spray-painted elements of the word ‘welcome’: welcome/ we come/ well come/  we me/ we

 

In collaboration with Artist Kalanjay Dhir we installed these turf rectangles on top of the antiterrorism blocks in a 6 am guerilla art exercise in the suburban stillness of a mild spring morning. They remained on site for 4 days, and were subsequently removed by council clean-up team. These photos document their presence. The blocks remain.