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2000 Pansies Planted as Memorial to Homophobia Victims

Artist Paul Harfleet helps Merseyside Police plant pansies

An unusual sight this, some of Merseyside’s top Police officers on their knees planting flowers. Although a serious topic everyone was enjoying the event and the line of pansies running like a scar across the gardens looks really cool.

Artist Paul Harfleet revisits locations where homophobia has been experienced and plants pansies. These self seeding pansies act as a living memorial to this abuse and operate as an antidote to it; some pansies wither whilst others thrive in car park borders and windswept road verges. Each Pansy’s location is named after the abuse received, photographed then posted on his website:. What began as a small-scale autobiographical artwork has grown into an international project, which has been included in festivals in Manchester, New York and London.

For Homotopia 2007, Harfleet will plant 2000 pansies in St John’s Gardens; the installation will visually dissect the park creating a memorial to a homophobically motivated murder. Paul enables others to get involved by distributing pansies to the public who will make symbolic plantings across Liverpool.

On Sunday November 18, Paul will be hosting the ‘Pansy Giveaway’ He will be on Church Street in the centre of Liverpool from 2pm-4pm to distribute pansies and to chat about the project to interested passers by.
The ‘Pansy Giveaway’ enables the public to become involved in the project. By symbolically planting pansies either at the site of homophobic experience or in window boxes/garden borders the pansy is imbued with significance altering the ordinary activity of planting a flower as a way to offer support to The Pansy Project and the homophobia it comments on.

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Generously supported by Merseyside Police