Despite the increasing adoption of the e-cigarette, the exterior 'smoking area' is still a common feature of commercial and industrial workplaces. These areas vary from vibrant hubs of social activity to bleak urban boondocks where people hunch in misery to joylessly and momentarily stave off the effects of their drug addiction.
Smoking areas are often 'found spaces', often unofficial, often lacking shelter or waste-management facilities, and often overshadowed by the moribund architecture that they nestle amongst. Disinterest or prohibition might preclude investment in these rest areas and they may remain sparse impersonal "non-places" (Augé, 1995).
Cigaflora sprout up in these barren patches of land.
The flowers are made from cigarette waste, their forms plucked from the imaginations of the smoking-area's inhabitants (they draw flowers on cigarette packets, sign and date their designs, and leave the drawings in a special place for collection).
Gradually the garden grows with fagtastic flowers, each a material embodiment of a creative whimsy.
Call centres, packing factories, distribution centres: many with smoking areas, many with transient employees who remain at their job for only a few months. These transient workers leave lasting and personal evidence of their time shared during their fag-breaks.
The cigaflora garden grows into a metaphorical graveyard: a glorious rambling representation of the collective imagination of its impermanent inhabitants – coughing and spluttering amongst delightfully unique pseudo-botanical sculptures.
AUGÉ, M., (translated by HOWE, J.). 1995. Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity. London, UK: Verso.