Greenmeme is the vision of artists Freya Bardell and Brian Howe. Together, they have been creating site-specific public artwork since 2005. Qualities of material, context and form begin anew with each project. Their investigations into the history of both the surrounding culture and environment reveals unique ways in which each project can work to raise awareness of these qualities through sculpture, performance and community engagement. Since coming together their work has continued to range from smaller locally-focused commissions to creating projects on a national and international scale.


Monday, May 30th, 2016 | Freya Bardell + Brian Howe and Friends

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A Russian community and a well loved park. This was a last hoo-rah for the park, which was soon to undergo a major transformation. This context of an existing park, within the boundaries of what would soon be a larger park, made us dream of Matryoshka Dolls, earthen guardians and relational play-spaces.

Appearing to have come up from the earth, 5 earth mounds, in the shape of sleeping Matryoshka’s emerged to create a space for a wide array of community activities, including the predictable slide and climbing hill but also the unpredicted bmx ramp and parkour playground.

When our younger participants had too much fun, the over-played dolls became educational space, as kids learned what it meant to take care of and nurture the artwork back to health. The local after-school program assisted us throughout the process of making and maintaining of the artwork.

When temporary work is finished, where does it go and how can our materials serve a secondary purpose? The Matryoshka dolls were mostly made of straw bail and organic soil, which was nicely re-purposed into a vegetable garden, producing among other things little Matryoshka (cherry) tomatoes.

  • Site: Plummer Park, West Hollywood
  • Commissioning Agent: City of West Hollywood
  • Artist Team: Bardell/Howe
  • Medium: grass, straw bails, soil, vacuum formed plastic, printed faces, lighting, irrigation
  • Dimensions: Doll1 24′ x 10′ x 5′