“There are too many gardens in this town,” is not a complaint one often hears. The same cannot be said of potholes. The pothole, in its natural habitat, is often a symbol of bureaucratic complacency and/or urban blight.
Where policy and politics falter, art and culture fill the void, in this case the literal void of pavement gone missing. Steve Wheem of East London, a.k.a. “the pothole gardener,” is part installation artist, graffiti artist, and miniaturist.
Whimsy and delight characterize these little gardens “grown” in holes in sidewalks and roads. In Wheem’s short documentary, “Holes of Happiness,” the sizably small patches of the sublime take passersby by surprise while illuminating the creative potential for solutions to the challenges that cities are confronted with regularly.
Charming tableaus of tiny lounge chairs and televisions tucked among plants draw one’s attention to both a problem and a solution, a creative form of activism.
The realm of guerilla gardening is ripe for creative types everywhere, with pieces springing up in unexpected places worldwide. Seed bombs, replacing ornamentals with edibles, and gardens in unexpected and unsanctioned places are all part of the art form.
For more ideas on how you can be a Guerilla Gardener, check out The Pothole Gardener and GuerillaGardening.org.