The Garden of Spoil: Maria Simmons’ Rat, Plastic, Wood17 September 2022
By Chris Hampton
I’d never noticed the building at 10 Tom Street in West Hamilton, a Sunday school tucked behind an old church, let alone considered there’d be any reason to explore its basement. Past the doors, the scent greeted me first: fresh and mineral, like the smell of earth after a rainfall (but on a return visit, it was sweet like rot). A curious purple glow leaked into the stairwell from the lower floor, intensifying with each step downwards. Then, off the landing, a large room opened, revealing an extraordinary subworld—a garden of sorts—living virtually in secret.