June 16, 2005
by Canadian Architect
Twelve innovative and thought-provoking gardens by designers from Australia, France, the United States and Canada make up the sixth edition of the International Garden Festival, which will be held at the Jardins de Mtis/Reford Gardens from June 24 to October 2, 2005.
This year’s festival is comprised of seven gardens selected following an international call for proposals:
*Eucalyptus: Light and Shadow by Australian landscape architect Kate Cullity and artist Ryan Sims draws on the unique, paradoxical and mysterious qualities of the eucalypt, a plant emblematic of the Australian landscape.
*Landscape architect Philippe Coignet and architect David Serero from France employ the fern as the subject, formal structural element and visual reference in their garden entitled Modulations.
*Camouflage View by New York City architects Benjamin Aranda and Chris Lasch play with the art of camouflage, as it melts into the landscape, but also functions as an obstacle.
*Lola Sheppard and Mason White from Ithaca, New York, have created Soil Horizon, imposing soil samples collected from carefully identified sites in the Mtis region.
*Subterranean by landscape architects Charles Waldheim and Glenn Hermann from Toronto is a black garden which metaphorically reveals the capillary structure of the root systems in Mtis.
*Nettoyage sec by AMMA architecture de paysage (Amlie Germain and Marie-Andre Huard) from Montreal draws visitors along a playful and sensuous pathway punctuated by surprises.
*Un jardin en mer by Pierre Bourgault and Maxime Bourgault from Saint-Jean-Port-Joli involves the construction of a salt sculpture on an island in the St. Lawrence River.
The other gardens being presented this summer were originally built in 2004 but have been revisited by the designers for a second year. These are Head in the Clouds by Atelier Big City (Anne Cormier, Howard Davies, Randy Cohen) from Montreal; La source by BGL (Jasmin Bilodeau, Sbastien Gigure, Nicolas Laverdiere) from Quebec City; Hip Hop by Susan Herrington from Vancouver and Mobile Landscape Intervention Unit by Mousse architecture de paysage (Charlotte Gaudette, Emmanuelle Tittley) from Montreal. Coloured Reflections by Hal Ingberg, which has become a feature of the festival since its first appearance in 2003, completes the program.
Other events include the following:
*Visual artists Andrew Forster and Michael Fernandes in collaboration with the musician Rainer Wiens will present Mtissages / Crossbreedings (songs for catching in the wind), a wandering performance working with movement and sound and using wind as the primary element. The performance will take place on June 24 at 3:00pm. A sound component will be heard on the festival site throughout the summer.
*An informal round table on contemporary landscape architecture and the designing of temporary gardens in the context of a festival will be held on Friday, June 24 at 1:00pm. It will be chaired by Tim Richardson, a well-known writer on contemporary landscape architecture from London, England. Designers Kate Cullity from Australia and Philippe Coignet and David Serero from France will participate.
*Six maquettes of gardens produced for the festival site by teams of students from the Interdisciplinary Art program at the Universit du Qubec Chicoutimi will be presented in the Estevan Lodge from August 18 to September . Developed during a two-week workshop on experimental art practices, led by sculptor Roger Gaudreau, one of the projects, selected by a jury, will be included in the 2006 festival.
*On Wednesday, July 6, landscape architect Bernard St-Denis will speak on ephemeral gardens, looking in particular at three international festivals, which are held in Mtis, at Chaumont-sur-Loire in France, and the Cornerstone Festival in Sonoma, California.
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