Facing East

The sunflower is a large plant that got its name for its sun-following habit. The flower heads turn, following the sun path of each day until they reach full bloom: then they remain Facing East.

The south facing strip of ground between the pavement and a block of social housing was originally a garden space. When the fences were removed it was filled with concrete and was abandoned. A crack in the concrete once more revealed the ground, offering the opportunity to plant. Considering the opinion of one of the residents who shouted from the balcony “You better give up cause somebody will kick them in anyway!” it seemed a completely hopeless venture. The planting of sunflowers in this rough environment is an ongoing test to prove this wide spread pessimistic attitude on the improvement of space beyond the private realm wrong.“What’s so special about this tree? …Ah, you planted it…” was the comment of a resident. It is a little change on the estate where, as he puts it, “nobody cares, nobody makes an effort”. This year a woman ripped out three sunflowers with roots and when convicted of theft she excused herself and said “ oh sorry, I thought the council planted them”