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Look Between The Cracks in The Pavement. 2022

‘Art Assembly’ commission by Art Fund, HOME, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester City Gallery, and Whitworth Gallery, Manchester, UK.

The Botanical Society: Look Between the Cracks in the Pavement


Helen Mather and Anna FC Smith in collaboration with Tiarna, Fatima, Elly, Kacey, Fatima, Tabitha, Phoebe, Agatha, Louix, Aidan, Angelica


Artists Helen Mather and Anna FC Smith worked with fashion/textile students from Manchester College on a project inspired by 19th Century working-class Botanical Societies. The autodidactic radical societies defied expectations of their class to learn about their changing environments. Using their model of co-learning, the students observed and documented urban nature in their own hand made observational notebooks. The group visited Chetham’s Library to study original botanical texts, and undertook a field trip with Dr. Emma Coulthard, a Senior Lecturer in Ecology at MMU, who assisted the group in discovering what plant life can tell us about the health of our environment. Developing image making through workshops, the group have created an identity for the Botanical Society though patten which aims to disseminate the desire to observe urban nature and share a feeling of being part of a botanical community.

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