Ruskin Theatre Garden Workshop | for muf & South London Botanical Institute

On the theme of Ruskin, I got the chance to run a free drawing workshop in Croydon for muf’s new bit of public realm, Ruskin Sq, this weekend. Thank you Madiha/Amara for awesome-as-usual photography

Look down at ankle level long enough- to forget all about where you actually are

Cuckoo Spit

Wild Rocket


medicinal St. John’s Wort

86 pioneer species growing on a derelict land site without any human intervention 

archiving collective site observations (for free)

Own observations

The  fantastic thing about Ruskin is, he teaches us how to look.

That’s mostly why muf architecture/art has decided to keep Ruskin Square as the derelict empty plot of land it actually is- and has been for the last 30 odd years, even though the brief is supposed to be ‘come up with a decent public space’.

But there’s just already- so much here.

86 species of wild flowers, herbs and vegetables that have grown a few yards away from a disgustingly ‘modern’, ugly and huge scale development site- new stations, new offices- suited and booted monotony.

We were lead around site by a botanist from the SLBI (who have cataloged all 44,000 species of the Island’s plants who showed us how one could pretty easily make a living just by eating the wild Rocket, Parsley and selling the St.John’s Wort (herbal plant people pay good money for to cure depression) that you’ll find growing naturally off a plot of derelict disused land.

It was a great day for running a drawing workshop; I’m glad I got a chance to do it, alhamdulillah.

what would happen if we looked and valued every inch of the earth?

“If you trust God with the right kind of faith, He will provide you sustenance as He provides for the birds – they go out in the morning with empty stomachs and come back in the evening with full stomachs” [Prophetic saying, Tirmidhi]

Do they not see the birds made to fly through the air in the sky? Nothing holds them up except God. There truly are signs in this for those who believe. [the Bee Al-Nahl | signs 79-80]

Do they not see the birds above them spreading and closing their wings? It is only the Lord of Mercy who holds them up: He watches over everything. What force can help you if the Lord of Mercy does not? The disbelievers are truly deluded. Who can provide for you if He withholds His provision? Yet they persist in their insolence and their avoidance of the Truth. Who is better guided: someone who falls on his face, or someone who walks steadily on a straight path? [Al-Mulk the Control | signs 19-22]