Paul Harfleet: The Pansy Project

Artist Paul Harfleet plants pansies in sites where homophobic abuse as been reported and photographs them, titling each photo after the abusive language or violent incident that took place or after the victim’s name.

From the official site:

A string of homophobic abuse on a warm summer’s day was the catalyst for this project. The day began with two builders shouting; “it’s about time we went gaybashing again isn’t it?”; continued with a gang of yobs throwing abuse and stones at my boyfriend and me, and ended with a bizarre and unsettling confrontation with a man who called us ‘ladies’ under his breath. Over the years I have become accustomed to this kind of behaviour, but I came to realise it was a shocking concept to most of my friends and colleagues.

It was in this context that I began to ponder the nature of these verbal attacks and their influence on my life. I realised that I felt differently about these experiences depending on my mental state so I decided to explore the way I was made to feel at the location where these incidents occur. What interested me was the way that the locations later acted as a prompt for me to explore the memories associated with that place. I wanted in some way to manipulate these associations, In order to feel differently about the location and the memories it summoned.

The project’s official Facebook page has unfortunately been removed; you can show support for the project and demand its restoration here.

The Pansy Project

The Pansy Project – blog

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