Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Plant Science


May - June 2013
Inigo Rooms, Somerset House East Wing, Strand Campus


The result of a two year collaboration with the Estates Department and the Performance Foundation at King's College London, site-specific performance and installation artists Ewan Forster and Christopher Heighes created an evocative three-room installation in response to the university’s abandoned Plant Sciences Department laboratories in Herne Hill.

Abandoned for more than twenty years, 68 Half Moon Lane was a site of great innovation in the teaching of biological sciences and most recently the location of Nobel prize-winning research by the James Black Foundation. Its abandoned laboratories, seminar rooms, lecture theatres, and storerooms still evoke a strong sense of collective endeavour.

As a tribute to a remarkable building and an examination of the practice and personalities that inhabited it, Forster & Heighes retold a particular chapter in the history of the College's scientific teaching and research through installation and performance; bringing the spirit and substance of one of the College’s suburban outposts back to the centre of the city and reconnecting it with the contemporary university.

Plant Science was a meditation on the apparatus of study and learning; an exploration of the performative qualities of the lab bench and workstation as sites of intense scrutiny and discovery and devices for pedagogical exchange and experiment. Glasshouse, green-board, test bench, workstation, fume cupboard, propagation bed, specimen cabinet and fire door – a building distilled to its essential elements, clarified, separated and reconstituted in the neoclassical environment of Somerset House.

An installation by Forster & Heighes.
Original idea supported by the Performance Foundation.
Presented by King's College London and supported by the university's Culture team and the University of Roehampton.

Stay in touch

Email the Culture team

Sign up to the newsletter