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garden tales from a Brit at home and abroad


Before on this blog I have written about the mysterious French designer Elie Lainé, and about the placing of modern artworks in historic gardens.

So I was delighted to see the two come together this Christmas, with the installation Winter Light in the grounds of Waddesdon Manor. Contemporary artist Bruce Monro placed six large light-based displays in the glorious landscapes of Waddesdon, which were laid out by Lainé in the 1870s.

The most interesting of the six for me was Field Of Light, a geometric wave that swept down a valley between Lainé’s majestic trees. In the photographs here (from a set by Eamonn McCormack), you can see how, in the late afternoon, the 6,500 tiny lights looked like of a swathe of Spring bulbs; by sunset, they were more reminiscent of a lustrous peacock’s tail; and then a great river of liquid chlorophyll. I like that, close-up, you can see the glass fibre and spheres, understand something of how the display is created, and yet still its magic holds.

Field of Light was not conceived for Waddesdon. It had already been displayed in various locations, in England and the States, and is currently in its first urban setting, in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh. It seems to me to have worked beautifully at Waddesdon, with both Lainé’s confident Victorian landscape and Monro’s contemporary artistry enhanced by the temporary juxtaposition.

4 comments on “Juxtaposition

  1. gardentourist
    March 7, 2014

    To me, the swathe of light recalls a dress with train… the temporary juxtaposition relies on the image of a Victorian cortege walking slowly up to the trees… beautiful, thanks for sharing!

    • landscapelover
      March 7, 2014

      Yes, I guess we will all be reminded of different things by these changing patterns of light among the trees. I am grateful to Gillian Mawrey of the Historic Gardens Foundation who alerted me to the installation.

  2. Lula
    March 9, 2014

    Jill, I love the use of light as sculptural material and Munro has master it inthis installation. He is very interesting artist. Thanks for posting you visit.

  3. John
    March 11, 2014

    I gave a heads up to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond Virginia to look into. Thanks for the post.

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This entry was posted on March 7, 2014 by in Gardens, Modern design, UK and tagged , , , .

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