artist, material forager & designer


Ruderal is a project that explores and questions the link between artists and gentrification using Ruderal plant species as a metaphor for the forces of gentrification.

Focusing specifically on the area of wasteland that surrounded my former studio space in South Bristol which was to be demolished to make way for the controversial Bedminster Green Development.

Ruderals are plant species that colonise areas of land that have experienced a disturbance. The pioneer species are the most hardy, and are the very first to colonise a barren environment, such as an abandoned site or recently demolished building.

The project takes the form of a written history of identified ruderal plant species in the area, a podcast and an accompanying zine.

“In Episode 4, artist Ben Hartley explores the parallels between Ruderal plant species with the processes of gentrification & urban renewal. Focusing on a specific area of wasteland adjacent to Ben’s former studio and it’s anarchic flora, this podcast examines the seemingly inescapable link between artists and gentrification.”

Ruderal was commissioned by Bricks Bristol, Produced by Rowan Bishop, commissioned and co-produced by Jack Gibbon and Jessica Akerman of Bricks.