What to see: Anna Garforth’s floating garden

The artist is suspending a beautiful installation made from moss and metal above St Christopher’s Place

The artist Anna Garforth is set to bring nature to the city this week when she unveils her extraordinary installation – a metallic, spherical sculpture brimming with greenery – in London’s St Christopher’s Place.

Garforth, a London-based artist and designer who uses natural materials in her unique creations, was invited to build a live installation to celebrate the arrival of spring and pay tribute to Pantone’s colour of the year, ‘Greenery’. Having spent much of her childhood in Surrey and North Yorkshire – “both very green parts of the country” – she says that the brief appealed to her because it offered an opportunity to “set natural structures against an urban backdrop”.

Garforth’s installation consists of a large spherical framework to which she has attached moss (sourced from a trusted supplier based in Denmark), ferns, vines and other plants. “I called the piece Rise because it symbolises the rising of the sun and the onset of spring – that moment when everything begins to awaken,” she says of the sculpture, which is suspended between buildings above the street.

Building the installation hasn’t been without its challenges, not least because moss requires constant watering (“It loses its magic the moment it starts to dry out,” explains Garforth). A living artwork in every sense, it is expected to evolve throughout its display period as the plants respond to their environment.

Garforth says that she hopes the display will bring a sense of serenity to a busy urban quarter, reconnecting viewers with nature and creating what she calls “a sense of wonderment”. “It’s like a floating garden that has appeared from nowhere, the moss like a miniature kingdom from another world,” she reflects. “There’s something quite ethereal and otherworldly about it.”  

The installation will be on display at St Christopher’s Place from 23 March to 29 April.

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