All Photos by Michael Chrisman-Torontoist
This came to us via Wooster Collective via Torontoists and it’s a great example of how the world’s changing into using street art and advertising in an eco-friendly format to recreate urban spaces. Artists Sean Martindale and Eric Cheung are going through and taking old ripped advertising billboards in their home city of Toronto and making them into unique little pocket planters.
Eric and Sean describe themselves simply as “Two guys trying to activate public space–attempting to engage with urban environments.” Like other street artists and guerilla gardeners, the idea is to illustrate a new way of looking at things, particularly in city landscapes that have already been abused by some ugly ad that’s seen a better day.
In some ways, their pocket planting project is cultural jamming but taken to the next level with a bit of green involved which makes it even that much more interesting. Like guerilla gardening whereby people plant flowers or various other types of plants in unused or under-utilized public spaces, it’s a fresh way to make change.
According to a story in the Torontoist, Eric and Sean created a Creative Commons licensed template for the shape of the planters with instructions on how to create them on their blog in the hopes that more people will do the same.
“Throwing the template out there is simply a polite push for others that this is a pretty easy thing to do and that anybody could (and should?) do it,” Cheung explains. Martindale, too, hopes that “people will pick up on these concepts and spread the ideas around. We want to support more engagement…Anyone is welcome to use one of our patterns or to make their own variation, as long as it isn’t for a private profit%u2013driven initiative. We want to keep it open-source, as was always intended. It belongs to this city and other urban environments.”
The pocket planters are popping up all over Toronto but stay tuned for them to start appearing in Vancouver as Eric and Sean venture to the other side of Canada to get the movement started.