Monday, 5 March 2012

The Pansy Project

So, I was on the Tatty Devine website yesterday and these brooches caught my eye. I noticed them because they appeared so pretty and I have a love for anything hand-painted, but upon closer inspection, I noticed varying phrases of homophobic abuse carved into the bottom of the wood. Initially I was confused...there must be a story behind this odd juxtaposition of flowers and swearing? So I googled the artist who designs them - Paul Harfleet.

Paul Harfleet is an artist, based in Manchester, who basically "plants pansies where homophobic abuse is experienced and then entitles the pansies based on the location and comment received". Examples of this include; "Queers" in Manchester and "Fucking Faggot" in London, hence the small messages at the bottom of the brooches.

"Faggot" in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester

"Fuck off and Die Faggots", Tottenham Court Road, London.

"Komm doch, Ich hau in die Fresse", Sophie-Charlotten Platz, Berlin

He does this all without any form of permission from the council, then takes a photo and posts it on his website. This simple act shows is a gesture of quiet resistance and is a record of all the homophobic abuse that goes unreported, right under people's noses. The Pansy Project is an important and poignant reminder of how ever-present homophobic bullying is on our streets, and how brilliantly clever Paul Harfleet is to use something so beautiful to remind us of the horrors of society. 

Thank you for reading.

Brooches can be bought from Tatty Devine here:

Paul Harfleet's website:

1 comment: