Skip to main content
Anna Lucas, Atlantic Botanic, 2007. Installation view at FACT.

Atlantic Botanic (2007)

The precursor to Kaff Mariam and Uña de Gato showing in Gallery 1, Atlantic Botanic is a two-screen work that juxtaposes images of London's Brixton Markets on one screen with the austere interiors of the South London Botanical Institute on the other. A seemingly choreographed sequence of events, Lucas' careful synchronisation of sound and image subtly presents notions of cultural history and exchange.

The artist's deliberate choice of 16mm film, and reference to time throughout (for example, the intermittent ticking of a clock, or the final scene involving the ultimate closure and abandonment of both locations), offers a thoughtful reflection of two dying breeds of institutions in the face of contemporary digital and scientific technologies and global consumer culture.

It was originally in Brixton markets where Lucas found the Kaff Mariam and Uña de Gato plants, providing the impetus to trace them back to their respective native environments in the Middle East and Peru.

Also in Gallery 2 are carbon drawings on botanical archive paper of the plants Lucas bought in Brixton Markets before her search for them growing wild. This project formed part of Lucas' Wildcraft residency at South London Gallery, which culminated in 100,000 brown paper bags printed with images of the drawings, and distributed through market traders in Autumn 2006.