LAHORE - Lahore-Glasgow based artists inaugurated their public arts project “Rooted” - a marble seat, featuring symbols of Bagh-e-Jinnah (Lawrence Gardens) to reach undiscovered spaces in the park, and find its rare and historic flora.

It was organised and commissioned by the Lahore Biennale Foundation (LBF) and British Council Pakistan, with support from Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA).

A ceremony was organised which was attended by Adviser to Punjab CM Khawaja Ahmed Hassan, Parks and Horticulture Authority DG Mian Shakeel, and DCO Lahore Capt (r) Muhammad Usman.

Addressing the ceremony, Hassan said that Lahore has been always a dreamland for him, and since his childhood he has been frequently visiting the gardens. He added that the gardens have historic trees. “The Bagh-e-Jinnah was a replica of garden located in Calcutta,” Hassan said, adding that the Punjab government will restore its original glory in true and letter spirit.

He also announced to make a Horticulture institute in Lahore for research.

According to the event organizers, in December 2015 the LBF and British Council sent out an open call inviting creative individuals and collectives in Pakistan to consider Bagh-e-Jinnah (Lawrence Gardens) through a critical lens, and to submit proposals for an on-site, semi-permanent artistic intervention. The jury chose Lahore-based artists Unum Babar and Matt Kushan to work with the Glasgow-based creative studio Pidgin Perfect, LBF Qudsia Reheem director told The Nation.

“The project proposes eight new permanent artworks for Bagh-e-Jinnah which has a reference and resemblance to its heritage,” Raheem said.

She added: “The project encourages the viewer to explore and personalize undiscovered spaces in the park, and find corners within its rare and historic flora. South of the Quaid-e-Azam Library an Islamic star inlaid into the ground acts as a marble compass; a map leading the way to seven such sites.

“The destination of each of the seven routes is a 'Point of Contemplation', marked by a marble seat sited to inspire introspection and solitude.”

“Rooted” is part of the Lahore-Glasgow programme which has been based on poetry in translation, exchange of illustrators and musicians and a curatorial partnership between the literary festivals in Lahore and Edinburgh.

PHA DG Mian Shakeel said: “Art in Public Spaces presents an opportunity for the government to transform some of these green areas into creative spaces for the public.” He added that PHA engineers put their effort also to create this art work and this artwork is the beautiful addition to garden’s glory.

On the occasion, the Olomopolo Media presented a mime performance referencing the artists' work and using the Compass as a stage. Also, temporary sculptures were also displayed; these sculptures reference the heritage links between Glasgow and Lahore and were created by the artists in workshops with Lahori school children at Sanjan Nagar High School, supported by Rabtt.