Lily unveils her project, Floral Grief

Posted on May 19, 2020

For 2020, the School launched a new subject for Years 9 and 10, the Independent Negotiated Project (INP). INP is a single unit, semester-long elective that can be taken in Year 9 or 10. Students work with a teacher mentor to co-construct an individual learning plan with the goal of inquiring deeply into an area of passion and interest. The course provides opportunities for working in a transdisciplinary way with the flexibility to focus on skill development and consolidation as well as enrichment and extension – dependent upon the needs of the student.

Lily Neyland (Year 10) chose to undertake the INP this year and unveiled her finished project on Monday 18 May at Cornelian Bay.

Lily Neyland with her work, Floral Grief

Lily’s Project, titled “Floral Grief” investigates the impact that plastic flowers (often placed on grave sites) have on the surrounding environment.

Lily says:
When I was about 5 years old, I collected some plastic flowers at Cornelian Bay during a City of Hobart Bushcare activity. I took the flowers home and put them in my cubby house. Over time, some were thrown out but one bunch remained in our garden and even now, over 10 years later, having been out in the weather for that whole time, it is still clearly recognisable as a bunch of flowers.

The flowers Lily collected when she was 10 years old were blown from the cemetery at Cornelian Bay, down to the waterfront. Over the course of this year, Lily has collected over ten full, large rubbish bags of plastic flowers and vases that have blown from the cemetery into the surrounding bushland and foreshore. Lily has used these flowers to create this artwork, to bring awareness to the community about the use of plastic flowers and how they are impacting the environment.

From Lily’s Artists Statement:
Plastic flowers, while pretty, cheap and often convenient:

  • Last in the environment for years and years
  • Blow off graves into the surrounding bushland, River Derwent and the ocean extremely easily
  • Break down into even more harmful microplastics

Through this work, Lily hopes that through seeing this sculpture, those who place plastic flowers on their loved one’s graves will reconsider their actions and choose a more environmentally friendly option. Some of the options she suggests are:

  • Fresh flowers (without any plastic wrappings)
  • planting a shrub or small plant in a pot
  • using silk, ceramic, wood or metal “flowers”

Lily says:
Through this sculpture, I wanted to raise awareness about how the earth is becoming more and more polluted as a result of plastics, like these flowers. For this reason, I decided to make a coffin, a symbol of death and place a model of the Earth inside.

Floral Grief is currently on display at the Cornelian Bay foreshore.

Please note that Cornelian Bay Cemetery does not allow plastic flowers on new sites, but still has many old sites that have plastic flowers.