Ruderal planting at the Tate Modern art gallery

Empty Lot by Abraham Cruzvillegas

This year’s installation at the Tate Modern is an exercise in geometric natural regeneration. 23 tonnes of soil fill 240 triangular planters made of rough timber on a support of scaffolding poles. The triangles reduce in number to form a prow like triangle jutting  through the Turbine Hall. The soil has from 36 sites around London, from Buckingham Palace, to the Lea Valley, to Kew and Wisley. The planters are lit by  lights mounted on poles lashed together from junk found in builders’ skips, and the planters will be watered regularly. Abraham Cruzvillegas’s idea is to allow natural regeneration to happen and some spindly growth was evident this week. Maybe visit with a packet of poppy seeds? The artwork was opened 12 October and will remain until 3 April 2016.

Robert Holden is a London-based landscape architect who read architecture & landscape architecture at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. On graduating he worked for the Dutch Staatsbosbeheer (State Forestry Service) on a visual survey of Oostelijk Flevoland and for Allain Provost in Paris on recreation planning of the French coastline east of Dunkerque. In London he has worked for Derek Lovejoys (1971-75) and Clouston (1976-89) including extensive work in the Middle East. • In the 1980s he was particularly known for his work on business park masterplanning such as Aztec West near Bristol, Capability Green Luton and Colchester Business Park. He was a Clouston director responsible for bureau d’étude work at EuroDisneyland in 1988-9; • since the 1990s he has been involved in smaller practices (including Clifton Design 1990-91 and Holden Liversedge 1991-99), and Cracknell Ferns (1999-2009). • projects have included work in France, Germany, Kuwait, Libya, The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Spain, UAE, and Russia as well as the UK. • he was lecturer, latterly Head of Landscape & postgraduate landscape architecture programme leader at the University of Greenwich, 1992-2013. • Currently he serves on the Landscape Institute Council having previously served 1983-86; he was Education Vice President of the European Foundation for Landscape Architecture (2001-4) & from 2005-2008 was EFLA Secretary General. EFLA is now IFLA Europe. • From Feb.-June 2014 he undertook a Tübitak (Turkish Science Research Council) scholarship, at Istanbul Technical University, looking as sustainability & public domain in Istanbul. In 2015 he taught at Corvinus University on their MLA. Interests include sustainability & landscape architecture, post industrial landscapes, landscape construction, the European landscape profession, and aspects of C18th landscape gardening, especially the ferme ornée. HIs latest book (joint with Jamie Liversedge) is "Landscape Architecture as a Career": Laurence King (Feb. 2014) in English and Spanish.

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