Spiky Black

Spiky Black is a site-specific audio artwork made for the rose garden at Chalkwell Park, Southend, by artists Alison Carlier & Amanda Loomes. The work is accessed via the free NetPark wi-fi hosted by Metal. The artwork grafts a transformative audio layer onto the rose garden, giving listeners an intimate and alternative insight into the thoughts and language of those committed to growing roses.

Spiky Black can be heard at

The rose garden has provided pleasure to many generations and has been the pride of Southend, as evidenced in historic postcards. The garden continues to be rooted in nostalgia, a repository for memories despite changing fashions & council cuts. The gardeners that tend the roses are nearing retirement themselves but this generation grew up as punks and now imagine naming a rose ‘Spiky Black’ in memory of their youth. In the meantime the UK rose industry survives with passionate breeders and mass produced roses like ‘Mum in a Million’. Spiky Black shifts register from the pragmatic to the poetic, through the affective use of language sourced from rose catalogues, punk bands, horticultural terminology, memorial benches and first person interviews.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

    Back to Projects