Alicia Prowse

Alicia Prowse
"Natural Succession"
Mapping urban wastelands to investigate their ecological value and their potential for ‘experiencing wildlife’

"Natural Succession" is a process led art and ecology project initiated by environmental artist Kerry Morrison and botanist Dr Alicia Prowse.
Morrison and Prowse’s shared interest in plants that grow in the wrong places has resulted in a collaborative partnership, investigations into choices that are made and decisions that are taken that both change and shape landscapes. (

“Natural Succession” aims to flag up the ecological and aesthetic value of urban wastelands and examine the intrinsic value of these neglected, maligned areas to those who visit, pass through, or use them.

Areas of urban wasteland are often classified as brown field sites.
“A Brownfield site is any land or premises which has previously been used or developed and is not currently fully in use, although it may be partially occupied or utilized. It may also be vacant, derelict, or contaminated”(Journal of Environmental Planning Jan. 2000)

Left unattended, wasteland sites become reclaimed by nature, and as unmanaged sites, natural succession is the deciding factor in what does or does not survive on the land. A lack of human interference and applied judgement values, e.g. Native Species = Good & Non Native (alien) Species = BAD, can result in cosmopolitan landscapes comprising of indigenous and non-native species. Alive with vibrant and diverse wildlife, could these biodiverse Brownfield ecosystems be more accurately described as ‘Greenfield’ sites? And do these sites have an ecological and aesthetic value even if they are brimming with plants that are in the “wrong” place?

Within an urban landscape, Brownfield sites provide links or stepping-stones for wildlife corridors and spaces within which we can experience nature.

During the Independents Biennial, artist Kerry Morrison will undertake the challenging task of locating and mapping Brownfield sites within selected areas of Liverpool.
To reduce the carbon footprint of the work, she will navigate the streets of Liverpool City Centre, Woolton, and the docks lands from John Lennon Airport through to Canada Dock on her bike. After each day of cycling, the results will be exhibited at the Outhouse, Woolton

Brownfield sites in over 4 square miles of the city will be flagged up, and using a combination of artistic and scientific evaluation techniques, these least cherished landscapes will be mapped and graded for their potential value for experiencing wildlife. The results will be debated at an open public forum at the end of the Biennial.