Plant yourself for some reflection

Over Easter I volunteered for the first time at Left Bank Leeds as an invigilator for the current art installation ‘Anastasis’. Anastasis is the ancient Greek word for resurrection, carrying with it a sense of rising and recovery.

The installation is timed to run from Easter Sunday to Earth Day as it deals with themes celebrating spring, the seasons, life cycles and Easter. The piece is very much open to interpretation and offers viewers the chance to take some time to reflect.

There are two parts to the immersive installation; a soundscape by Bob Birch (a former collaborator with Left Bank Leeds) and over 2,500 seedlings are arranged to symbolically represent life cycles, the changing seasons and abundance of nature. The seedlings have been individually nurtured by a team of volunteers for the past four weeks in their homes and gardens, before being returned to the venue for the opening on Easter Sunday.

The soundscape was created by Bob recording a Dawn Chorus (the singing and tweeting of birds at dawn in spring), in Otley. He recorded over four channels so what you can hear varies depending where you stand in the space.

 

The seedlings are made up of a number of plants; snap peas, beetroot, purple dwarf beans, sweetcorn, sunflowers and chives. Laid out in seven concentric circles, they fill the main space. Flanked by sofas, there is the opportunity to sit and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere the installation creates.

For my part, being with the installation all day was really enjoyable and relaxing. It was lovely to see how much the visitors enjoyed it; whether they were paying close attention to the seedlings, spotting the different species, or sitting on one of the sofas and soaking up the atmosphere.

 


I helped water the seedlings (the first time I have truly cared for an artwork!) and it was an opportunity to pay close attention to them; the variety of colours (not just greens and browns, but blacks, greys, reds and blues), the different soils and to spot tiny details I might have missed in another visit.

Wonderfully, ‘Anastasis’ doesn’t end in the traditional way. As part of Earth Day everyone is welcome to come and take some of the seedlings home. Left Bank Leeds hope that via social media you will be able to share some images of the seedlings as they grow in their new settings.

‘Anastasis’ is open 10am-4pm, 17-22 April.

Words and images: Becky Townesend @inaflowerdress who blogs under Inaflowerdress.wordpress.com