Bomb the Blight Brings a Serious Arsenal to Seed-Bombing Bomb the Blight Brings a Serious Arsenal to Seed-Bombing
Culture

Bomb the Blight Brings a Serious Arsenal to Seed-Bombing

by Theo Schell-Lambert

November 15, 2010

Tommy Wilson talks a lot about mortars and hand grenades. “I want to launch a bomb in every state!” declares the Memphis artist. This statement would be alarming if not for the content of Wilson’s artillery: biodegradable balloons filled with wildflower seeds, plant-based paint, flour, and sorghum, which the decidedly peaceful bombardier describes as “quite aesthetically pleasing,” and excellent food for birds and rodents.

It’s all part of Wilson’s new Bomb the Blight project. Launched last week in Memphis, Bomb the Blight is a cross between public art and madcap ecology in which the artist fires paint-studded seed-bombs into neglected lots. On landing, the bombs produce colorful splatters of paint; spread across an area of several acres, “they build up into an abstract painting of sorts,” according to Wilson. The project gets its artistic second wind later, when these bright splotches bloom into a mix of plants picked for their appeal to bees, birds—and humans. “Considering that the materials used by the first artists were derived from plants, I think it is quite fitting to consider flowers to be my final medium” he says.

Photo by Donna McGlothlan

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Bomb the Blight Brings a Serious Arsenal to Seed-Bombing