Man Made Nature

Development, Local Universe, Projects, Sketchbook, Visits, Visual Research, Walks

Window Boxes as Small Nature Spaces

After my first attempt at trying to find new nature in the Local Universe, I reflected an realised I was once again looking at wild nature which is what I did for my previous edition project. I thought that maybe I should instead look at the opposite of wild nature, and observe nature that is tame. Controlled by man and used decoratively.


Some of my initial drawings that prompted the investigation of man made/ man controlled nature

Visual Research and Documentation

With this in mind, I ventured out again into the mundane streets of East London trying to find examples of where plants are used by man. I thought it would be quite difficult to find what I was looking for but once I started walking around and looking hard, there were examples EVERYWHERE.

Here are some of the images I captured:

I was intrigued by my findings because London is such a bustling city where many people don’t have access to green space such as a garden to plant to their hearts content, yet somehow these small nature spaces in the form of window boxes are everywhere. And they’re still somewhat wild looking but the fact they were decidedly placed in front of windows and doors decoratively signifies human control.

Sketching and Moulding Research to Souvenir Brief

Taking these visuals and sketching in my sketchbook, I began playing with the possibilities of what my souvenir could be. I considered a publication that exposed these small nature spaces and the windows they belong to but thinking about this, I knew I had to be vigilant and avoid doing something similar to what I did for my Urban Botany Edition. So I thought about concertinas and flaps and fold outs that could possibly make the publication interactive. But the possibilities were endless and frustrated me to think about, so I thought about drawing from my visuals hoping that would steer me in the direction of coming up with and idea for a final outcome to work towards.


Thinking about a potential publication format for my souvenir


Going back to working with my images of small nature spaces and experimenting with how they work situated in the windows. I do like the quick nature of the drawings and their simplicity of detail. I also like the way in which the architecture suggests the human control over the plants.


Mechanical pencil quick sketch 1


Mechanical pencil quick sketch 2


Realising the lack of context when the plants are taken away from their windows. Also wanting to experiment with colour.


Watercolour studies, experimenting with close ups and mark making with a brush. I really like the colour bleed that occurs with watercolours.


Testing gouache paints to get a more opaque, bright colour and solidify my texture making.


Thinking about whether it’s really necessary I work with local colours and perhaps I could just play with bright, bold contemporary colours.







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