I spent one month as artist in residence & workshop leader at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital with the Bluecoat Display Centre. I spent the time engaging the patients in an environmentally aware project in preparation of an installation for the hospital's Roald Dahl Haemostasis & Thrombosis Centre.
Patients were encouraged to participate in a project that turned plastic milk containers into invasive ivy whilst they waited to be seen.
English Ivy (Hedera helix) is a species of native ivy which is a versatile plant, being able to cover significant ground and able to climb as well. It grows well in the shade and is ideal for covering barren areas under trees, it crowds out weeds, helps stop ground erosion, climbs and cascades walls. With its evergreen foliage it’s a great ornamental plant which provides rich nectar for insects and fruit for birds.
But it is considered an invasive weed in parts of Australia and the United States. Due to human introduction as an ornamental plant it has widely spread, invading forests, salt marshes, woodlands and fields. Growing at ground level as well as reaching up into the forest canopy, it suppresses native vegetation engulfing everything and preventing light reaching the other plant life.
Images courtesy of Beth Harvey