Plants in concert (AKA Plantwerk), a postcard garden for Bloom Festival 2023

Plants in Concert, a postcard garden by Klinkerdin Arts Salon & Edible Bray, L-R: midisprout, synthetiser, headphones, potted dwarf fig tree on invasive laurel wood slices. Photo by Eileen O’Sullivan.

Plants in Concert is a collaboration between Klinkerdin Arts Salon and Edible Bray, a public trail of community gardens in Bray. Together they have created a horticultural sound art installation where we listen to plants’ internal movements. Plants gurgle, stretch and turn. We hear.

How can we hear this? One of the plants in the garden has sensors attached, which allows reading its electromagnetic impulses, like a heart monitor, with a midisprout gadget translating them into sound. The sounds have been programmed and finetuned by musician Ruaidhrí O’Sullivan. During Bord Bia Bloom Festival 2023, this plant music was streamed and accessible via a QR code.

The judges awarded us a ‘Highly Commended’ plaque in Bloom Festival.

Plantwerk, the team

Eileen O’Sullivan – co-ordination, production & construction

Ruaidhrí O’Sullivan – sound engineer, sound production & construction

Hugh Ryder – head gardener & soft landscaper

John Mason – head gardener & soft landscaper

Mo Harte – socially engaged artistic collaborator & audio describer

Fergus O’Flaherty – production & construction

Elida Maiques – art direction