Flower Power




In the summer of 1996, I attended an art project in Alijo, a small village in the Douro Valley in Northern Portugal. It was a two week long International Artist’s Workshop which culminated in an outdoor exhibition, entitled ‘ARTSLAND – Art in the Landscape’. It was the first time I had ventured outside the medium of painting and into site-specific art so was a big step for me.

The work I made was called ‘Flower Power’ and it was artificial flowers strung into the net of a goal which was used by local children. I wanted to mix the everyday context of the local kids football pitch with the artificial flowers I saw all over Portugal at the side of the road in little catholic shrines everywhere. I wanted to make something beautiful. The artwork had many ideas to it including: referencing the Portuguese religious fervour for football; the juxtaposition of the everyday with the sacred, showing that everyday life can be just as sacred as when you are in a church or shrine; the idea of putting something seen as feminine with something seen as masculine. I also liked the idea that this artwork could be seen from above from up a nearby hill which was the road to a religious