If you happened to walk the back streets around London’s Hyde Park and Edgware Road recently, chances are you may have crossed paths with Sacré blur – a greenhouse constructed from salvaged 18th and 19th century stained glass – outside a 23-storey tower block.
Made from cast-off seventeenth and eighteenth century stained glass collected from the rubbish bins of English and European churches over the course of years, the greenhouse is the work of horticultural artists Tony Heywood and Alison Condie, whose works primarily focus on new ways of engaging with and representing landscape and nature.
The Christian imagery has been dismantled and reused to present a world of chimeras, mythical creatures and folkloric hybrids. Part plant/part human/part insect, these images combine to suggest a more primitive world, symbols and patterns which people have used for thousands of years to celebrate the cycle of life.
The greenhouse is a horticultural temple – a metaphor for the living Earth and a place of sanctuary and introspection. It represents an environment in which nature holds an elevated position.
Sacré blur was originally built to house the psychedelic plants of Oxford Botanic Garden. Oxford is, according to Tony Heywood, the only place in the UK licensed to grow and display psychedelic plants such as ayahuasca and peyote.
An issue with security at the Oxford Botanic Garden meant the project was abandoned before installation. But Sacré blur has since gone on to toured several venues across England before taking its temporary position at 25 Porchester Place, London, W2 2PE.
Images Credit: Tony Heywood & Alison Condie
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about sustainable lifestyle and green living for publications, and offers content services to planet-friendly businesses. Find out more at Rosamedea.com