The Terra Foundation residency has come to a close. On the flight back I watched from the plane window as Paris morphed from a city to a Mondrian painting, and then to some kind of off-kilter fractal in shades of green as we moved over the countryside, over Giverny.
|West Texas crop circles|
This is the superman garden, I thought; the garden whose boundaries are dictated in offices and whose water is pumped through miles of pipeline and complex irrigation projects. This is, at least, what accounts for the appearance of around 40% of American landscape. (http://www.ers.usda.gov/statefacts/us.htm)
It seemed that the French aerial agricultural view was a bit more organic in form than its American counterpart (fewer grids, fewer perfect geometrical forms). Perhaps the French 18th and 19th century love of the garden has somehow translated into contemporary farming practices. Empress Josephine, originally called Rose, once hired an artist, Pierre-Joseph Redouté, to live in her palace and make a drawing of every rose in her collection of over 250 varieties collected form around the world.
In the last few days in Giverny, most of us forsook time in Monet’s gardens and the French countryside for the interior of our studios. Two weeks proved to be a surprisingly fertile amount of time for the development of our work— I have expanded my associations with ‘the garden’ to include the creative workspace.