Talking Plants was a series of workshops led by Artist Associate Kristina Pulejkova with Year 4 students at John Donne Primary School in 2022. It used simple electronics, plants, sound, and storytelling to create an interactive piece of work that gave voice to plants through sensor-based technology.

The students learnt about the plant world and its intricate connections to us and the immediate environment. By teaching the students how to create interactive artworks using simple sensor-based electronics in a STEAM-based approach, the artist inspired and empowered the children to seek out further connections between art and science, technology, and the environment.

The final output is an innovative, lightweight, interactive sculpture formed by a set of 12 plants, decorated with motifs taken from the collages created during the workshops. As people hover over the plants with their hands, they ‘wake up’ the plants and hear their voices and stories imagined by the students.

The artwork will be on show in the Salter Space at Southwark Park Galleries // Lake Gallery from Thursday 11 to Sunday 21 May 2023. It will then be returned to the school as a legacy to the project and for everyone to enjoy.

It has been an absolute pleasure working with you. The children have thoroughly enjoyed it and have been given such a unique experience.

Teacher & Art Lead, John Donne Primary School

Talking Plants is part of our popular and ever-growing School Outreach Ecology Sessions programme, which brings free art sessions into local schools, addressing the themes of environment and climate change.

Our talented and experienced Artists Associates spend two weeks in residency at a local primary school, delivering high quality creative and educational ecology sessions, aligned with the curriculum requirements.

The project aims to raise awareness around the topic of ecology and what we can each do to help, whilst celebrating nature by looking at the flora and fauna of different landscapes and the world around us.

Thanks to John Donne Primary School for making it happen. 

School Outreach Ecology Sessions is generously supported by RIVA – Residencies in Visual Art.