This round of Operation Ivy League was being hosted by the Barbican Gallery as part of their "Radical Nature" programme. It seems our reputation as Space Hijackers preceded us. The gallery’s curator received a phone call from the Metropolitan Police warning them that this group of artists they’ve commissioned were “anti-establishment and likely to cause trouble”. The curator replied that this was exactly why they hired us.
The Sunday started with a trip to Columbia Road flower market in London’s East End to stock up on gardening supplies. We bought ivy, lavender and other chlorophyllic delights. Some gardener friends contributed seed bombs – Christmas baubles filled with soil and wildflower seeds.
After careful inspection of the assembled rabble queuing at the Barbican to accompany us, we found the majority of attendees were either Hijackers or associated parties. Legs itching for a ramble, we abandoned the “green enough” Barbican and moved into the City proper.
As intrepid flaneurs we schlepped through London’s financial heart into the grey, glass darkness. We felt our way through the City streets using architecture and topography as our guide. Climbable walls. Accessible rooftops. Secret shortcuts and hidden hidey holes. We clambered atop pubs, shimmied up streetlamps, stole into fire escapes, crept onto scaffolding and delicately balanced on glass-domed sky lights.
Drifting through the City like ninjas with better dress sense, Hijackers used a variety of well-honed skills to plant our wares. Some opted for testosterone-fuelled climbing feats by ascending sheer building facades with remarkable ease, others slipped plants into walls and cracks, and a few planted with intent to cover corporate slogans and CCTV.
As our photosynthesizing arsenal began to empty, we headed further east to join the Whitechapel Anarchist Group at their Spitalfields Fayre. Along the way, we avoided police and security guards, launched seed bombs, and planted some lovely lavender at a road crossing.
Despite a lingering drizzle, the Fayre was a chance to unwind our muscles and stretch our bones. The evening we had in The Castle afterwards is another story for another time. For when we shall regale you with tales that have no reason nor rhyme.