Every asterisk a star / Every star a clock.
Every clock a chime. / Every chime a warning.
Waking a cell, then a seed, then the germ of a weed getting ready to flower.
For the series of commissions in Kensington Park, where the Serpentine Gallery is to be found, the taraxos installation, part of a series of projects and research by Sophia Al-Maria, rises up to meet the sky, making it a place where you can pause and meditate in the park. Visitors can sit and observe the constellation of 12 metal achenes in the form of futuristic dandelion seeds, which the artist has turned into an emblem of resilience and change. The asterisk (a recurring motif in Al Maria’s work as a symbol of rewriting and revision) appears on the top of each achene, inscribed into the ground in reference to the navigational tool of the meteorological wind rose.
The installation is part of a larger project launched in 2019. On the winter solstice of 2020, the Project took the form of a meditative audio written and performed by the artist to music by Kelsey, which could be listened to on the way to the installation and is also available online as a podcast.
On the spring equinox in 2021, A Wish is A Form of Travel, an online text conversation between Al-Maria and artist Leila Dear, focused on the sacred geometry of flowers expressed in drawings by Dear.
Now the physical installation “is flowering” in the space in front of the Serpentine Gallery. “Inspired by the life cycle and geometry of the dandelion (taraxacum officinale), the sculpture taraxos is a model for understanding and listening to the world.”
Sophia Al-Maria, Taraxos, site specific installation for Kensington Park, Serpentine Gallery, 2021 -22
images: (All) Sophia Al-Maria, «taraxos», 2021 Serpentine x Modern Forms Sculpture Commission 21 June 2021 – 24 April 2022, photo: Hugo Glendinning