LuzInterruptus in Valencia to salvage some vegetable gardens
Juan Miguel Ponce,
- Sustainable Architecture
- LuzInterruptus in Valencia to salvage some vegetable gardens
The current trend of having your own plot of land to grow vegetables is on the rise, particularly in urban areas to meet sociocultural needs, where knowing what to grow and how to grow it translates into sustainable local produce. Something that gets hobby gardeners out doing some physical activity, and an enjoyable, healthy pastime, although in many areas it is a real need for families who can supplement their meals with zero-cost produce that just happens to also be “zero-mile”.
This is the context for the latest artistic work of the Spanish collective, LuzInterruptus, namely in the various initiatives aimed at reclaiming La Punta in Valencia, an area that until 15 years ago was home to extensive vegetable gardens and cottages and gave work and food to more than a hundred families. The vegetable gardens in La Punta were almost completely destroyed to make room for the future development of the Valencia port's logistics area - ZAL.
With the urban development slowdown caused by the economic crisis, along with protests from locals and social groups, in the end, nothing was built there and the plot on the edge of the city lies forgotten and unused. The local government is now thinking of reviving the ZAL project, including a “green corridor” and bicycle lane as a kind of appeasement to citizens and associations, who instead are seeking to draw attention to this reality in order to initiate a public participation process with the local government to give the deported families a chance to return and work the lands of the Horta de la Punta.
Here, in collaboration with local associations working with socially disadvantaged children and women and other artist friends, LuzInterruptus gave life to a garden formed of 1000 recycled plastic containers donated by neighbours and Valencia's recycling plant. They filled them with green water, added light and “embellished” them with all kinds of plants that grow in this sad, abandoned area. A “packaged garden”, where nature is replaced by industrial products, alluding to how quickly we forget the appearance, smell and taste of the countryside, so easily replaced by pseudo-natural theme parks that are a poor copy of the real nature that was destroyed - a nod to business interests and speculation but certainly of no help to those who lost homes and livelihoods.
The “Packaged Garden” is, like all the work of LuzInterruptus, an installation of stunning visual poetry, where the unexpected beauty of the works they create are actually food for thought. They left the plastic garden in place for just a few hours, then they picked everything up and recycled it all, leaving no traces of their presence in the vegetable garden area, although it remains on the surface of the web through the photography by Juan Miguel Ponce.
Project: LuzInterruptus - http://www.luzinterruptus.com/
Location: Valencia, Spain
Year: April 2018
Images: Juan Miguel Ponce