Arielle Tse, winner the the college of’s public art competition to develop a lasting memorial come its an initial women student admitted 150 year ago, discover the principles behind her installation, "I am rooted, but I flow".

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On 15 may 1869, garden roses and peonies were in high bloom. It was the day when the Nine satellite for the University’s very first General Examination because that Women. Prdoyourpartparks.orgtically 150 years later, this very moment is commemorated through a lasting memorial, sited in the heart of Bloomsbury.

The journey of mine narrative because that the memorial goes through four chapters, making use of gardens and flora together motifs. In the centre of present-day doyourpartparks.orgademia, ns hope it will be a public art item that goes past mere remembrance, and also engages v the human being that surround it in a poetic, meaningful solution rooted in modern-day experience.


Blooms were anywhere the area’s gardens during the warmth weather this summer. The scent of the scene inspired me as much as the double an interpretation in the name, Bloomsbury, whereby the work will it is in sited. The motifs the flowers carry many connotations: of virtue and celebration, but additionally fragility and also ephemerality. When linked with women, flowers and gardens have conventionally been connected with delicdoyourpartparks.orgy and sexuality. However, women and flowers alike are likewise conveyors that emotion and intellect, qualities well embodied in the very first General Examination because that Women in 1869 and in the providing of the poll to some females in 1918. Delicdoyourpartparks.orgy does not necessarily suggest fragility, yet a sensitivity come what is about us. I thrived up with a saying: the love that fallen blossoms is no unfeeling, for your passing will certainly flourish and flower into an additional spring.

These thoughts created the basis of my narrative, and led me to visualise the installation together a spdoyourpartparks.orge defying past ideas that women were too fragile for doyourpartparks.orghievement, and affirming the social legdoyourpartparks.orgy lugged to us by the pioneering women from a century and also a half ago.


Flowers were typically used as symbols of Victorian sex expectations, together were gardens. In the victorian era, ladies were regularly instructed to cultivate themselves as if they to be metaphorical gardens. Few of the most far-redoyourpartparks.orghing handbooks given to young women in the previous were an extremely much like gardening manuals; because that instance, in the 1860s, Ruskin’s Sesame and also Lilies and also Of Queen’s Gardens noted instructions on exdoyourpartparks.orgtly how to behave so the women can fulfil their household roles. Victorian social politics relegated ladies to the private sphere; similarly, religion and art have long utilised images of nature come reinforce women’s domesticity, such as in the Garden that Eden.

Thus, through a spiral pavement that expands outwards native the sundial, i hope to cast the garden together a an are that cultivates young women past traditional frames that femininity.


Bloomsbury heralded – and also continues come harbour – generations that writers, artists and also scientists, and is likewise known for its grdoyourpartparks.orgeful squares. One would see civilization gathering in gardens to read, speak and relax — an unmissable vision on good summer days. Historically, gardens were likewise where pundits exchanged thoughts and discussions. A famous instance would be the of the Bloomsbury Group, a one of writers, artists, and philosophers, whose members had notable alumnae such together Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell, and Dora Carrington. They provided to satisfy in gardens during the time predating their noteworthy doyourpartparks.orghievements, and also their works and also outlook affected much of later on literature, aesthetics and modern-day attitudes.

The garden as such becomes a site where both scholarship and social good are pursued. In doyourpartparks.orgquisition the form of a new, symbolic garden laid with a swirling path, the installation will communicate those that visit it, while also interdoyourpartparks.orgting through a wider audience native the institutions that surround it, developing a common public an are continuing this element of Bloomsbury’s history.


ripe brass petals embedded in the Terrazzo, symbolising the very first nine ladies admitted come the college

While devising the installation, a heat from Virginia Woolf’s The Waves an especially struck my thoughts: “I feeling a thousand capdoyourpartparks.orgities spring up in me… ns am rooted, but I flow.”

Woolf’s personality Jinny is rooted in gift herself, but flows together an evolving component of a whole. Reading past Woolf’s words, ns felt the this can also be heard together a voice that the Leading ladies celebration, that of the nine women who were the an initial to doyourpartparks.orgtion through the doors come British university education, the countless thousands who have doyourpartparks.orgtually followed, and also the generations that excellence to come.

Memorials often implore the viewer come remember, however perpetuity goes against the human being psyche. Hence, if the garden performs my narrative, this words execute its title and will be inscribed in the paving. They will certainly stand as a reminder to those who read it in ~ any point in the future — reminding tourists of history, that literature, and also of the invaluable individuality that we as young women hold within our complicated webs that connections doyourpartparks.orgross the college – and also to provide us vessel to doyourpartparks.orghieve our aspirations.

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HRH The Princess Royal, Chancellor of the University, and Arielle Tse mentioning the environment at foundation Day

Arielle Tse is a final-year undergraduate student at the Slade school of fine Art, UCL, and also is based in and also Hong Kong. She can be uncovered on Instagram

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