Hortus in transit was created for The Magic Hour, a light and sound event curated by Oxford Contemporary Music, at the University of Oxford Botanic Garden. In the garden there is a wonderful specimen of the Davidia involucrata, commonly known as the Handkerchief tree because of it’s pale large bracts that hang down around the inflorescence in spring. Using the metaphor of handkerchiefs and pollen allergies, coloured images highly magnified pollen collected from the filter of the cars of the artist and Garden Curator were printed onto silk and suspended from the Davidia tree to blow freely in the wind. Extending the references further, a recording of bees made from hives in Greece, was played from a beehive grafted on to the tree high up in its branches. The frames as they were extracted from the hives bore an uncanny resemblance to the form of the pollen filter and carrying this analogy further, the buzzing industry of the bees sounded like the whine of an overworked engine.

Originally commissioned by Oxford Contemporary Music and University of Oxford Botanic Garden for The Magic Hour.