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Where the Heart Is 2002

Graham Fagen (born 1966, Glasgow, Scotland, UK)

Where the Heart Is
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Copyright: Copyright The Artist; Image courtesy of the Artist and doggerfisher, Edinburgh

Graham Fagen has taught at the University of Dundee (Duncan of Jordanstone College) since 1995, most recently running the MFA programme. He works in a variety of media but is best known for his installations, photographs and video work. Much of his work is concerned with communication and social identity, and investigates the places, things, sounds and stories through which we understand our place in the world. For Fagen, the most ordinary of objects can be invested with significant meaning and he has long used plants and flowers in his work. In 2001, Fagen was invited to participate in a regeneration initiative to develop a new park in Roystonhill, Glasgow. He selected a hybrid tea rose that had been developed by Cocker’s nursery in Aberdeen, and purchased the rights to it. Known only by its seedling code number, the rose needed a name, and Fagen asked the people of the Royston Road area to make suggestions - something that would make the flower significant to them and would indicate their aspirations for the future. Where the Heart is was suggested by local schoolgirl Nicole McDonald. It won because of its associations of belonging, and home. The legacy of the Royston Road project has been a continued sense of community, with a profusion of Where the Heart is roses flowering in parks and private gardens around the area. Fagen has six of the bushes in his garden, and decided to make casts from them in bronze – in his words, 'the traditional, acceptable ‘understood without question’ medium for sculpture.' The fragile nature of the plant meant that he couldn’t cast the whole plant so he cast individual branches that were welded together to make three slightly different versions. Finally the bronze was disguised, painted to resemble the real rose from which it was cast. The Where the Heart is rose was planted throughout the Royston Road area and is now commercially available.

Acquisition Details

Acquired from doggerfisher, Edinburgh, 2004
Purchased with funds from the National Collecting Scheme for Scotland which was originated and operated 2003-2006 by the Contemporary Art Society and supported by the National Lottery through the Scottish Arts Council.
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