The old power station is in fact the Tate Modern art gallery in London and the raised beds you see in the picture are one half of an art installation. The picture was taken last October shortly after the beds were installed so nothing had started to grow. There are 240 beds in total and each contains soil from a different area of the city. The interest is in seeing what will emerge from the soil. This article from Matt Breen on the Time Out website explains what has been revealed.
When Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas?s ?Empty Lot? opened in Tate Modern?s Turbine Hall last October, it drew mixed reactions. The installation consists of 240 triangular wooden boxes, each containing soil taken from a different location in London. But, with nothing growing in them, it looked a bit barren. A sense of expectation hung over the piece.
So, when I check in on ?Empty Lot? I?m relieved to discover that it isn?t empty any more. Nearly every planter has turned green. ?The piece is evolving, transforming,? says a delighted Cruzvillegas as we walk through the installation. ?It now talks about local identities. You can see there?s a conviviality here.?
Many different plants are jostling for space, in true London fashion. Roy Vickery and Sarah Davey of the South London Botanical Institute are on hand to identify them. There are those you?d probably expect ? stinging nettles, dandelions ? and those you probably wouldn?t. In the soil from Hampstead Heath, chinese chives and garlic mustard have appeared (?Probably escaped from someone?s garden,? says Vickery), while opium poppies have started to grow in ? wait for it ? the earth from a primary school in Finchley. ?No need for concern,? Vickery assures us. ?Few poppies produce a worthwhile amount of opium.? In Clapham Common?s planter, an oak tree sapling is pushing its way through the soil. ?If this was left here, it could end up being 70 feet tall and going through the roof!? says Davey.
Not that the beds have been left entirely untended. ?We didn?t want to impose any rules for visitors, apart from ?no climbing in?,? says Tate curator Mark Godfrey. ?So it was interesting to discover YouTube videos of guerrilla gardeners throwing beans and seeds into the beds. Look!? He points to a ball of compressed soil, sprouting little green shoots. ?That?s a seed bomb.?
See more at Time Out