‘The Pothole Gardener project is all about creating unexpected moments of happiness.’
Reading this first capturing line of the ‘about’ section of a page dedicated to Wheen almost summed my own project up for me. I was lacking a way of expressing it verbally – but that was the exact target for me also, the moment when something random/out of place, makes you stop and smile.
Wheen creates surreal miniature gardens within potholes. The humourous tiny depictions contrast against the negative connotations of a pot hole – and turn it into something fun. Seeing a pot hole makes many people resent the government, and the councils – making them question why the aren’t paying to get them fixed, where as Wheen turns them into a glimmer of joy.
As the gardens are so delicate, Wheen must place them with the knowledge that they are probably going to get destroyed. I have realised with my project, that I cannot be precious about what I am placing in the urban environment, or any outdoor setting – as they are likely to become ruined, whether that be by the public, weather, or any other factors.
Using personification within the potholes makes them quite humourous. I think that this makes the public engage with his work more.