Heavy Gardening is a trail of seven art works, running from the back of FACT on Fleet Street, along the Baltic Corridor to Wapping Dock, produced by internationally renowned artist Andrew Merritt of Something & Son, in partnership with dot-art, Open Eye Gallery and First Take, as part of Liverpool City Council’s Urban GreenUP project which seeks to raise awareness about the future predicted impacts of climate change. Andrew has transformed seven small pieces of public infrastructure and human engineering to make them useful habitats for other species.

 The title Heavy Gardening is based on the idea that humanity, in light of the Earth’s huge loss of biodiversity, needs to scale up and re-evaluate the existing things we have at our disposal, making them of use to other species as well – a billboard becomes a roost for bats and air ducting a home for sparrows. Expanding upon the religious roadside shrines found around the world, the trail of seven sculptures acts as a little pilgrimage, where the venerated are not Gods or people, but offer us the chance to remember and give thanks to some of the other species that call Earth home. First Take worked with local communities to produce seven short films, accessed by QR codes at each sculpture site, showcasing nature-based artworks, green interventions and encouraging local people to talk about the benefits of greening their environment.

Heavy Gardening will launch as part of Light Night 2021 on Friday 21 May.

Join us between 5 and 10pm at the start of the trail outside FACT to find out more about urban wildlife with the RSPB, pick up a map and start your journey. Or book onto a guided Photowalk with Open Eye Gallery’s Andy Yates. Andy will take you between the seven art installations, inviting you to capture the trail and take part in a series of photography challenges. Photowalks take place at 5pm and 7pm and can be booked here. There are 12 FREE places available on each session. If you can’t make it into the city, you can also watch a panel talk on how art and culture can help build engagement with the green agenda and help communities feel part of the fight against climate change.

Lucy Byrne of dot-art said:

“We are incredibly excited to launch this innovative and thought provoking new public art trail, which addresses the biggest issue of our time, as part of LightNight 2021. The Urban GreenUP programme has already had a fantastic impact on the urban environment of Liverpool, and we hope Heavy Gardening will encourage the public to see their city and its wild inhabitants through new eyes.”

Find out more