The Pansy Project recently featured at the BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. An installation of 3000 pansies was situated along the Southbank; pansies occupied the newly renovated landscaping outside the Southbank Centre; initially appearing to be commonplace municipal planting the pansies began to delineate bins, bollards and bench legs from the Hungerford Bridge to Waterloo Bridge where the London Lesbian & Gay film Festival was housed at the BFI Southbank. This subtle intervention ascribed the paraphernalia placed along this famous promenade with unexpected poignancy, as the symbolism of the pansy is revealed the playful positioning makes way for an elegiac memorial.
The image above was created for the BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival by Nadege Meriau and features the pansy planted by Paul Harfleet for David Morley who was tragically killed* on the South Bank in 2004 after surviving the Admiral Duncan bombing. This collaboration between artist and photographer has created a beautiful image that enhances the original concept of cultural endurance thus making it an appropriate symbol for the festival as a whole.
*Though widely believed to be an attack motivated by homophobia a subsequent court case found the accused not guilty of homophobic murder but of manslaughter. The pansy was planted on the Southbank as a memorial to David Morley.