Keep Off The Grass

Arts Council England has awarded Grant for Arts Lottery funding for Nici's fascinating conceptual work Keep Off The Grass, installed as part of the Art in the Garden outdoor exhibition at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Hampshire 2009.

Inspired by 'fairy ring' mushrooms and their strong link with myth, legend and enchantment, Nici has created 33 porcelain forms containing steel pins and text, which are arranged to encircle a five-metre area of grassland.

In the past, people relied on an oral tradition of stories and rhymes to alert them to danger. There is a sense in which we have lost the wisdom of this shared knowledge and depend instead on legislation and written warnings on every aspect of health and safety.

Keep Off The Grass explores whether we could prevent exposure to potentially dangerous situations by reverting to common sense rather than written instructions. The texts warn against violating or entering a 'fairy ring' but, by placing the warnings inside the ceramic ring so that they are only readable from inside, the usefulness of warning texts is questioned. The installation juxtaposes the text with our intrinsic knowledge, exploring the relationship between the body, text and the forms.