Consisting of brass "knuckle dusters", a grill with a "seed shooter" attached, and a baseball cap featuring an enormous gold rake, The Subversive Gardner range isn’t your typical jewellery collection. Designed by Vanessa Harden, the eye-catching range is part of an ongoing series of public interventions connected to the “guerilla gardening” subculture – a group of individuals who secretly meet at night to illegally plant flowers, shrubs and vegetables in neglected urban spaces.
In recent years, the guerilla gardening movement has grown in popularity as a form of social activism. Often committed by residents looking to beautify their neighborhoods, it usually involves planting crops or flowers in abandoned spaces. Through the reclamation and revitalisation of disused urban plots, thoughtful use of green space in modern cities is promoted and a community of citizens who are protective of and concerned for the natural world around them is cultivated. Harden’s accessories are a creative extension of this responsibility.
A collection of brass accessories designed to function as "Guerilla Gardening" tools, it features two gender specific iterations: Tools for Him and Tools For Her. Tools for Him features a grill that comprises an extendable "seed-shooter", a baseball cap with substantial rake attachment, and a golden claw attached to a neck chain that can discreetly burrow seeds into the soil. Allowing the wearer to secretly drop seed bombs or plant flowers on their way to work, every piece is designed for easy integration of "guerilla assaults" into a daily routine.
Tools For Her consists of a trio of "nail-dusters". Also made from brass, the accessory can be used as a spade, rake or shovel in urban gardening spaces, and every one comes with a bottle of nail polish and a few seed varieties for dispersal. Through a combination of contemporary hip-hop iconography and easy to use gardening equipment, Harden’s unique piece are allowing for the discreet and stylish subversion of these monotonous spaces.