Each year, the International Garden Festival at the Jardins de Métis sees the arrival of wildly inventive landscape works in Grand-Métis, Quebec. Here’s a look at what’s new in 2014.
With two dozen unique and large-scale landscape sculptures, the International Garden Festival in Grand-Métis, Quebec, is the biggest of its kind in North America. Since its inauguration 14 years ago, nearly a million visitors have taken in the work of over 200 designers and architects representing 15 countries. Scattered across the sprawling acreage of the Jardins de Métis, the works are impressively diverse, crafting ephemeral environments that run the gamut from tranquil and subtly thought-provoking to vibrant and overwhelming.
While some favourites return year after year, there’s always a fresh batch of works on view with the launch of the Festival each year. Here’s a look at this year’s crop:
1 Line Garden by Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster
Using little more than wooden stakes and the kind of hazard tape typically unfurled at construction sites, this Canadian-born Basel-based duo erected an interactive sculpture whose zig-zag and herringbone patterns continually shift based on the viewer’s perspective.
2 Méristème by Châssi
This sculptural entry, by a collective comprising Marie-Josée Gagnon, François Leblanc and Caroline Magar, derives its name from the tissue of undifferentiated cells where a plant’s new growth takes place. Each irregularly shaped compartment contains the seeds of one of 35 different plant species native to the Quebec region.
3 Orange Secret by Nomad Studio
Enclosed by diaphanous curtains, and hidden behind a wall that offers just a keyhole glimpse, lies a sea of bobbing orange marigolds. The framing of the rectangular bed of flowers aims to radically alter the viewer’s perception, whether it’s just a glimpse of orange seen through a horizontal slit or the unbroken expanse set against a backdrop of trees.
4 Afterburn by Civilian Projects
Nicko Elliott and Ksenia Kagner created this abstraction of a Boreal forest fire’s aftermath using charred posts interspersed with evergreen saplings and pioneer species – the first plants to repopulate an area following a blaze. Sited in a forest clearing, the installation recalls plants’ regenerative powers to remind us that fires are part of a forest’s natural cycles.
5 Cone Garden by Livescape
Hailing all the way from Korea, Livescape presents this hillock formed from inverted traffic cones as a way of reconciling the man-made with nature. Besides serving as planters for a handful of different flowers, the cones also conceal noisemakers that respond to touch, playing the sounds of the wind or ocean waves.
6 Rotunda by Citylaboratory
Deceptively simple in execution, Rotunda was conceived as a mirror for nature: a black-painted steel dish that, once filled with water, becomes a device for measuring changes in climate and weather. As the water level ebbs and flows and the dish slowly fills with rain, leaves and insects, it reflects the rise and fall of temperature and humidity, and the passing of the seasons.
The International Garden Festival runs until September 28.