Audio work to accompany: 'in)organic~matter(s' by Sean Roy Parker
Fungus Press, Croydon, 4 Apr - 2 June 2019
Littering is a particular rejection of responsibility that has come to define underloved urban spaces and human disdain for the natural environment. Ecological crisis is forcing us to address the mess, revealing unsavoury personal habits and a severe abuse of greenspace. Unloved land is big business in Croydon; property developers are more likely to capitalise on areas the council can’t afford to upkeep.
A counter-argument is to treat funding cuts in park maintenance as an opportunity for rewilding the commons. The unbelievable diversity of native flora in Croydons’ parks is worth celebrating, but we have lost the language. “Weeds” can also be identified as ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Dandelion is among the most nutritious, ubiquitous, and therefore sustainable food sources on earth. It's cancer-fighting leaves make a great salad, the flowers brew an anti-inflammatory tea and roasted roots can be ground into a coffee substitute.
Wildflowers have many amazing historical uses in cuisine, medicine and DIY; nettle fibres twined made a strong rope, goutweed relieved cholesterol amongst monks, red clover was traditionally used as a sedative in infirmaries. Modern common names are bright, mellifluous and mysterious, often hinting at the physical properties or appearance that were deduced hundreds of years ago. The short and sweet existence of flora on our commons is easily surpassed by litter. A chickweed flower lasts three to five days: a chocolate wrapper will never degrade.
It’s our civic duty to preserve these spaces; to keep them clean, cherish their lumps and bumps, brave them wet and dry. We Must Be Present in Parks or the Permanence of Thoughtlessness will Survive the ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Sean Roy Parker lives and works in London. He has recently exhibited in 'The romance of flowers' at Kingsgate Project Space, London, ‘Permission Slip’ at Good Press, Glasgow, ‘SURPLUS’ at Peak Art, London (all 2018) and has an upcoming project with Chaos Magic, Nottingham. His public programming initiative PEFA Projects has collaborated with Our Human Library, Liverpool (2019), Bloc Projects, London (2018) and Cell Project Space, London (2017). Parker runs Brixton Pound Café, London’s only radical pay-what-you-can community café, and is a Lead Artist on Get The Message, Camden Arts Centre’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) schools programme.