Rooted in the Earth

A botanical celebration of local heroes across 5 parks in east London

‘The effect is spectacular and crowd stopping.’ – The Telegraph On Sunday

Artist Joshua Sofaer invited people across the capital to nominate someone to be commemorated in living flowers in a London park. Hundreds of local heroes were nominated with five winning names, one for each of the participating boroughs, selected by a panel of judges.

These winning nominations were displayed as decorative flowerbeds in parks and green spaces across each of the then five Olympic Host Boroughs. The five traditional, ‘carpet bed’ displays covered over 140 square meters in east London parks and included more than 55,000 individual plants. By taking an accessible yet neglected British art form like carpet bedding, Sofaer made a piece of public art that spoke to communities whilst still provoking enquiry and debate.

Volunteers joined the artist, a landscape gardener and a horticultural expert to plant the winning names. The project extended participation through workshops that spanned horticulture, poetry and history, with over 350 local people taking part. The project’s open competition attracted over 600 entries whereby friends, neighbours, families and historians nominated people worthy of an accolade. Some wonderful, surprising and moving stories emerged.

Rooted in the Earth was one of two 2009 Create Art Award winning projects.

The Create Art Award is supported by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.