Utopian Eden

My ideas have moved on to something a little more ambitious.  The work will be time-consuming but fun to make!  My thoughts have lingered on Genesis’ Garden of Eden – the most abundant garden where plants, creatures and humans grow and roam freely in complete harmony.  It is the first Utopian concept, explored by many including Plato, Thomas More etc… Utopian ideals encompass world peace, enlightenment, labour, arts and science, fulfillment, harmony between man and nature,  all needs supplied by the abundance of nature.
Esotera means ‘of the earth’.. esoteric means ‘mystical, unusual, rare.’  The garden symbolises a love for the land and relationship with the earth, the owners at Esotera work hard together to create from nothing an idyllic garden (Eden), make a huge contribution to society (Utopian), build things from found materials – including houses of various sorts, the garden is very harmonious with nature, rich in wildlife, creatures everywhere.   Nature has repossessed, like a return to Eden.  ‘Eden’ is almost tangible at Esotera…
Next week I’m revisiting the garden to get more of a feel for it, discuss my ideas with Shirley and Andrew, see the garden blooming and arrange practicalities.
The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch

Tintinhull

shrub growing through a hedge

A visit to see Tintinhull, the proposed venue for showing the work I make about Hadspen.

Tintinhull has a connection – Penelope Hobhouse came here in 1979, after leaving Hadspen, and her husband.  Penelope married again to a professor and a gardener (Mallins), and managed the garden at Tintinhull for the National Trust for 14 years.

Penelope had different interests and aesthetics to the Popes, who picked up the garden at Hadspen, after it had been neglected for some years after her departure, so I wasn’t looking for strong connections between here and Hadspen. But in the border to the side of the house, I saw a few: a single Snake’s Head Fritillary, some Solomon’s Seal just up, and Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’, all of which I first saw at Hadspen, and have in my own garden.

Euphorbia Fireglow Solomons Seal at Tintinhull

Labyrinth

” The term space has been commonly been used in place of cultural landscape to describe landscapes that are produced or mediated by human behavior to elicit certain behaviors”

As a site specific artist I am fascinated with the subject of space in which we occupy and how humans relate to place and environments.

During my final year of my degree I was interested with weaving and decided to research for my main written piece about the  craft and its history. Through researching i discovered inspiring myths that weaving inspired. The main myths being  the weaving contest between Arachne and Athena and the myth of Ariadne and the labyrinth.

Though i did explore the patterns of making spider webs in my work for my final year, it was not until i created the performance/site specific work at the tithe barn at Cotely for Somerset Art Weeks in 2012 that i finally fused my work alongside the myths. During the two weeks of Somerset Art Weeks i wove myself into the center of my web, playing the part of Arachne after the event/story had taken place. At the end of the story Arachne is transformed spider by Athena and is doomed to weave webs for eternity.

lab

lab 2

For this year I want to explore the myth of Ariadne and the Labyrinth.I was inspired by the Garden at Aller Farmhouse because it is like a Labyrinth itself with all its little hidden areas and also the relationship between our cultivated gardens and mazes in Britain, though this sadly did become unfashionable there are still historical gardens which still have them. Because the Labyrinth brings the viewer inside it and almost takes them away from the outside world, the experience being inside one becomes  a spiritual journey of the soul.

The aim of the Labyrinth is to give the person who walks inside it a spiritual experience. In religion our journey in life is to possess ‘The Abundant Life’, this refers to getting rid of feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction to gain a abounding with joy and strength for mind, body and soul. Labyrinths are often symbolic to the journey one makes in life to seek ‘The Abundant Life’. Referring to the Labyrinth at Chartes Cathedral in France a journalist speaks of his experience of the walk:

“Each person’s walk is a personal experience how one walks and what one receives differs with each walk. Some people use the walk for clearing the mind. Others enter with a question or concern. The time in the center can be used for receiving  reflecting, or meditating, as well as discovering our own sacred inner space”.

Though I am currently exploring this subject matter at the moment, it currently has huge potential as a piece of work which the viewer can also become part of, watch this space!