Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Final Shots

Walking back to where my journey began I took these last two shots. One is a side view of the garden again with red material tied across a space. Red really popped against the green. And lastly there’s view towards the street.

Exiting the Garden

Eventually I found my way to the rear of the garden. Any sense of a separate world disappeared once I saw the houses that surrounded the backyard. I took a few shots that look back into the garden.

Wishes for the World

At another stop along the way, folks were asked to write their wishes for the world in chalk on pieces of wood. All the pieces of wood, with rope attached, were then hung on nails attached to a large post. By the time I arrived at the post it was already covered with many wishes.

Altars Abound

Scattered around the garden are altar arrangements of
objects amongst the greenery. Some are more hidden than others. I proceeded slowly through the space in order not to
miss anything.

Burn and Plant

Throughout the installation there are red fabrics. At the next stop, there are two activities. One asks the participant to write something to gotten rid of on a red piece of paper. It will be burnt. The other asks the participant to write something to grow on read paper. Seeds are placed inside and the paper is folded up and placed in a pile with the others.

Entering the Garden

A shed serves as the portal to enter the garden. From the darkness and chalk-messaged walls, one emerges into the garden. Several places along the route involve an activity for the visitor. Here, next to stacks of newspapers, guests are asked to write their own news on sheets of newspaper and place them on specified stack.

The Secret Gardeners

In addition to the biennial in the New Orleans area, there were other exhibits associated with Prospect .1 New Orleans. On November 8th, 2008, I visited one such exhibit, an installation by AORTAProjects: “Community art in the post-disaster landscapes of today.” A group of artists calling themselves “The Secret Gardeners” included: Karen Abboud, Babette Beaullieu, Stacey Stansfill and Belinda Tanno. The project was titled “Growth.” The artists’ statement reads as follows:

The Secret Gardeners are constructing an environmental installation to promote awareness of life’s interconnectedness and honor the new growth sprung from a 100 year old pecan tree ravaged by the Federal levee breaks of Hurricane Katrina. Combining built and rescued/found objects with the natural components of a wildly overgrown Lakeview backyard, The Secret Gardeners are creating a space for meditation and wonderment in the midst of destruction.

Site Sponsor: Karen Abboud

My understanding is that the backyard was overgrown before the pathways were created. Follow the photos as I journey through the garden.