Here to Stay

An exploration of plant colonisation centered on a sculptural installation by artist Leni Dothan.

In 2018 artist Leni Dothan was commissioned by b-side to create 'The Portland Stone Rehabilitation Centre'  an installation sited at Portland's High Angle Battery that highlighted the damaging effects of the 'invisible enemy' – air pollution. Leni worked with the Chemistry department of University College London (UCL), to create an experimental work highlighting the damaging effects of pollution.

200 Portland stones were coated with a pollution reactive solution and were transported to London where they were exposed to the city’s air, then returned to Portland to be rehabilitated in Portland’s clean air revealing the ‘healing’ process'. You may have seen the stones and witnessed parts of this process at the High Angle Battery during the 2018 b-side festival.

The experiment continues…

In this next stage of the project these stones, having returned to their homeland, will now form a live demonstration of how nature re-establishes itself, as the stones are gradually colonised by organisms and become once again a part of the landscape. In their newly assembled position, on the windswept hillside of the last remaining area of agricultural Portland, the stones will be exposed to the elements allowing them to be reclaimed by nature. As a visual starting point, the stones will prompt a series of conversations and experiments exploring the impact of environmental conditions and the process of colonisation.

For more information on the progress of this artwork and related events over the coming months please subscribe to our mailing list HERE

With thanks to Pauline de Souza and Diversity Arts Forum, Kestrelman and Valentine Trust.


A woman wearng a bright red dress walks amongst stones