follow on twitter

lloyd godman news

books dvds

books dvds

Artist journal - Plant Room - an installation of epiphytic Bromeliad plants in a boiler house - © Lloyd Godman

While I was waiting for the photosynthetic images to materialize on the leaves of the Bromeliad plants I became impatient - I kept looking at the collection of epiphytic Bromeliad plants and imagining them installed in various locations. Living works of art.

Boiler hpouse or plant room at the Otago polytechnic, Dunedin, New Zeland - Location of the Plant Room installation


Through various jobs I had worked in when I was young, I understood the workings of plant rooms or Boiler houses. Usually hidden from view they act as the unseen engine rooms that drive the climatic conditions of buildings - they provide heating and even power for hot water, air conditioning etc. Usually, they either burnt coal or diesel fuel - either way - non renewable resources.

The Boiler house at the Otago Polytechnic had three large coal burning boilers and I engaged in gaining permission for the installation, arranging dates etc. At the time of installation, I had to position in the installation site around the boiler which was not operating.

Several weeks later, I also gained the exact specifications for the boiler and many of these facts appeared in the fragmented text for the Planet work, where words like - LPHW flows - (low pressure hot water).

While plant rooms are extremely noisy and dusty environments they are also urbane and sterile environments with no reference to the living organic world. I found the potential of the incongruity of the bromeliads in the plant room fascinating - on one hand the boiler was an operating parasite using up the earth's resources to stabilise the building's climate - and on the other was a collection of epiphytic plants which represented the earth's boiler house that stabilizes the climate. With the discovery of climate change carbon producing activities like this point towards entropy which measures disorder within a system. I used the title and concepts of entropy to explore the aftermath of the horrific 2009 bush fires in Melbourne.

Plant Room - Installation - December 1997



Installation of epiphytic Bromeliad plants in the Plant Room (boiler house) at the Otago Polytechnic which contains 3 coal burning furnaces for heating the building complex. Lloyd Godman - December 1997

this image is mapped - click on section to enlarge - or full scale image here

plant room panorama section 1 plant room panorama section 3 plant room panorama section 4