PROJECTS : tagworts 2009


Tagwort : A wildflower growing on, 'tagging' a wall, pavement or other built structure.

I worked with botanist Nick Bertrand from Creekside Discovery Centre to identify the wild flowers growing in the pavements and old walls in Deptford and selectively 'tag' some of these plants with their Latin and English names.

Like grafitti tags, weeds or wildflowers (or worts from the Old English 'wyrts') pop up unexpectedly all over the place. They are deemed anti-social and a blight on the landscape. Both, if left to their own devices would transform the environment, but are blasted (with jets or weedkiller) into oblivion, only to pop up again.

Climate change is increasing the number of new species from around the world that continue to colonise the area. We aimed to challenge, embrace and transform the concept of 'weeds' and the wild in the city.

Each wild flower and its common and Latin name stencil tag was photographed and plotted on a Google map, with an emphasis on locations used by Deptford X Festival.

Due to Google continually updating its 'My Maps' interface, the Tagworts map has now been lost. This is a great pity as Nick had written informative and witty descriptions of each plant and its heritage or journey to these parts. In due course they'll be reproduced on this website.


Oxford Ragwort
Parietaria Judica
Hart's Tongue
senecio vulgaris
Ivy leaved Toadflax
Taraxacum aggregate
polypogon viridis
Perennial wall rocket
Peritario Judaica
Tree of heaven
Conyza Sumatrensis
Common Ragwort
False Acacia
Cymbalaria muralis
Guernsey Fleabane


Installation in Deptford SE8, 2009

Stencil design & spraying : Sue Lawes

Plant identification & photography : Nick Bertrand

Part of Deptford X Fringe 2009

tagworts map 1
Tagworts map 2
Tagworts 1
Tagworts 3
Tagworts 4
Tagworts 5

Tagworts map

Google map creation : Sue Lawes

Photography and words : Nick Bertrand

Part of Deptford X Fringe 2009