The grass is greener where new University artwork can be found

One man went to mow, quite literally, to create a stunning new outdoor art installation for the Attenborough Arts Centre, the University of Leicester’s arts centre.

During the bright days of summer, the task of mowing the lawn is considered by most to be an inevitable chore. But artist Graham Ensor is using mown grass to literally imprint Leicester’s industrial past into its natural landscape, with an artwork created in the city’s Abbey Park for the public to appreciate and enjoy.

The installation ‘Indus Tree – revolution’ forms part of ‘Leicester: Memories of Industry’, two new exhibitions by the Attenborough Arts Centre now on display until 20 August that explores the influence of Leicester’s industrial legacy on its urban and natural landscapes.

Graham’s mown installation takes systems and patterns from industries historically associated with Leicester such as textile designs, formal garden knot garden forms and mechanical shapes, and marries them together in a circular form. The circle is a theme that runs throughout the project, symbolising the cyclic and repetitive nature connecting ‘People, Pattern and Process’.

Graham explains: “The idea of mowing in the grass came from working as a garden designer in my early career with some inspiration from seeing how other land artists rework the landscape. It is also a way of working I have developed as an alternative way of creating works since recovering from a head injury which caused me to give up lecturing in Art and Design. Through the help of the skilled staff and friends at the Attenborough Arts Centre I have been able to find new ways of working, such as the mowing, layering processes and assemblages that allow me to still explore the arts.”

‘Leicester: Memories of Industry’ comprises two new exhibitions to mark the 20th anniversary of Attenborough Arts Centre, which explore the influence of Leicester’s industrial legacy on its urban and natural landscapes. The exhibitions have been developed by g8artists Diane E Hall, Graham Ensor and Robert Thacker, alongside sound and visual artist Lucy Stevens.  The artists were supported with a grant from Arts Council England to produce new commissions for the exhibition. Collectively, their work will aim to reflect the cyclic nature of the landscape, from industrial use to the reestablishment of the natural environment.