Conceptual gardens at Hampton Court Palace promise to be interesting as ever
(Gardenzine news item:July 2010)
The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (6th - 11th July) will once again champion artistic inspiration and horticultural innovation in this year’s Conceptual Gardens category, sponsored by Tropicana.
The Pansy Project Garden, designed by Paul Harfleet and Tom Harfleet, is an ongoing conceptual artwork that memorialises homophobic hate crimes. Artist Paul Harfleet plants individual pansies to mark these locations of abuse across the UK. Brothers Tom and Paul will construct a confrontational concrete structure that references the pavement of the city; where the majority of The Pansy Project’s activity takes places. The dramatic ‘shattered’ form reflects the disruptive nature of these crimes and has been influenced by the impact earthquakes have on the built environment. The slabs of concrete will be placed at various extreme gradients and will be under-planted with a few thousand pansies.
Forces of Nature, designed by Guy Petheram, is a playful yet thought-provoking exploration of mankind’s struggle in both interacting with nature and as part of nature. A simple palette of birch trees, lush groundcover and a woven willow figure are used to portray an ambiguous relationship of both exploitation and cooperation. ‘Mankind’ will be represented in the garden by a life-size woven willow sculpture created by Lincolnshire-based artist Alison Walling. The design explores the idea that through our tenacity and ingenuity, Mankind’s interactions with nature are ever more forceful and destructive whilst simultaneously illustrating how we depend on the natural environment and are capable of nurturing and protecting it.
A Fable for Tomorrow, designed by University College of Falmouth Students, revolves around a large structure - the Cornish seed vault. Tall, tiered and circular, it has been split into two symmetrical halves, guarded by steel walls, to reveal its treasures stored within. The central walkway is lined by banks of seeds, some of which have escaped to germinate around pools reflecting light off the copper core. The structure, colonised by wild flowers in a mass of colour, is reminiscent of a Cornish cliff, arising from the sand dunes and salt marshes surrounding it. No constructed fences or walls mark the boundaries of the plot. The threshold will be felt through the change of terrain underfoot from turf to sand.
Hearts and Minds Heat Sand Mines, designed by Steven Wooster, is a moving, and moveable, memorial to soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is comprised of four L-shaped walls in the formation of a crucifix. These walls consist of a series of gabion cages in-filled with loosely arranged construction blocks and blood red debris-filled bags.Two olive trees are used to symbolise peace as well as the conditions of the hot, dry environment. The memorial is designed for personal interaction and can be entered through both its central and lateral axes. A central sculptural piece adds a focal point and completes the design. The structure is designed to be erected, or conversely, disassembled in less than a day by a small team of people, either military or civilian.
For more information about The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show visit the RHS site
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