Sempervivum Rickshaw

a multidisciplinary project bringing together artists and scientists around the theme of Sempervivum, known also as house leeks, hens and chicks… 

Through exhibitions, where scientific and artistic works are mixed, the ambition of this project is to share complementary visions to bring a complex and varied understanding of these plants to the public. 

Sempervivum, succulent mountain plants with improbable resistance to the harshest of climates, incite us to observe their unique physiology, adaptation to their environment and consequential hybridization – or extinction.

Consisting of an initial core, the project is enriched as it travels to new locations, growing each time with additional artistic and scientific contributions.

Sempervivum Rickshaw grew from a flat roof. A swirl of succulent plants, paintings, photographs, books, poems, AI images, music and ideas, spiraling outwards from the source. At the center Jane Le Besque, who connected the individuals each with their deep knowledge, helping to delve deeper into the understanding of Sempervivum and to keep the tracks on a line of scientific truth that complements the knowledge of the historic uses of Sempervivum.

The Rickshaw is the conveyance, moving collaborative ideas between a botanist and an artist, between an artist and a physicist, between artist and poet, poet and musician, musician and physicist. It is exploring, interactive, translating, sometimes an entity, sometimes hybridization shifting from physical components to a frequency, vibration. The Rickshaw has been pulled and pushed across different landscapes, twisting, branching, crossing its own path, vanishing and reappearing.

In a few places along this trajectory, the ideas materialised into expressions of the personal truths being explored by its riders. The observations collected here together are these manifestations: paintings, plants, poems, music, videos, computer code, images, books generated by the Sempervivum Rickshaw.

Our first exhibition was at HUG Hôpitaux universitaires de Genève, 2021, the rickshaw traveled to Munich-Nymphenburg Botanical Garden, 2022, where we have been invited back to Munich-Nymphenburg Botanical Garden 2026  to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Mount Schachen Alpine garden.

Our collaborations