Grass, grass up to my knees!
Grow up to the sky
So that there won’t seem to be
Any you or I
So that I will turn all green
And blossom to my bones,
So that my words won’t come between
Your freshness and my own.
Julian Tuwim Grass
Natural Garden is a painterly reminiscence. It is a confrontation of a youthful fascination with landscape and a modern vision of the urban garden.
The main inspiration for the exhibition is the living works of a Dutch plant nurseryman and garden designer Piet Oudolf. His works are based on the concept which allows for freedom and changeability. It presumes the aesthetic equality of all plants irrespective of the season of the year. Naturally, imperfect gardens stand in sharp contrast to formal French and English gardens. Plants are treated as substance or material, which can be freely arranged to cover and fill with them the existing geological and architectonic forms. There is no ethos of one form – a bosquet shaped by a skilled gardener. What is important are groups of plants which create their own ecosystems. The designs captivate with the diversity of matter and the idea to use common plants.
The exhibition consists of two parts. The first, which is titled “Views”, is a series of four monumental diptychs. The pictures are a depiction of popular themes, such as clearing, river and valley. They were inspired by visual and haptic impressions during my mountain hikes, which are my family’s passion. They are a sort of an archetypical vision – pre-landscapes – which have contributed to my knowledge of nature and, more importantly, its spatial and colour structures and the way they are arranged.
The second part of the exhibition concerns The High Line in New York – a grand garden design project. This greenway is a must-see tourist attraction in Manhattan. It was created on a former rail tail elevated nine metres above the streets of Chelsea. Its iron framework is a foundation of a unique ecological project and a verdant passageway for New Yorkers and numerous species of organisms which dwell there. In two series of works titled “Stills” and “Details”, I attempt to capture the general spatial look and cosmopolitical feel of the place. The characteristic feature of these works is rhythm, which is visible in the sociological, biological and architectonic aspects of the park. The exhibition features a sound installation, which is a non-fiction impression recorded in The High Line in February 2020.