Emma Smith

Phuplec, 2020

Phuplec is the phenomenon of growing or becoming a plot of land. Phuplec celebrates the small, the wild, the overripe, the rotten, the undesired and the redundant as necessary tactics for a sustainable future.

Developed for Cromwell Road, Cambridge UK, this artwork takes the moment of development of this site to raise to consciousness our relationship with our plant co-habitants.

A series of practices available for people to take part in online learns from the practices of plants that have allowed them to persist on earth for 416 million years. Developed during the period of Covid-19 this work looks in particular at the ability of plants to persist without being able to move somewhere else.

Inspired by a history of allotment growing around the site, this fieldwork experiment explores the possibility of becoming the field. Through this fieldwork and inspired by a history of local allotment growing, I am developing a new permanent work as a re-tooling device for future living – an instrument through which we can hear plants so that we might attend to them with greater care.


For Resonance-Cambridge, the public art programme for Cambridge Investment Partnership

Emma Smith