With this installation in the grounds of Five Points Arts Center For The Visual Arts in Torrington, Connecticut the artist hopes to inspire a dialogue about the apparent chaos of nature and man’s preoccupation with trying to structure and tame the natural world.
The work is inspired by formal parterre gardens that date back to medieval times. Those gardens were laid out in carefully designed symmetrical and geometric patterns of plots and walkways. They were an important part of eighteenth and nineteenth century landscape design in Europe and the United States.
Woodland – Meadow Parterre is 160 feet in diameter and is situated in both the meadow and the adjacent woodland. While the design reflects the tradition of the formal garden, there is a twist. The pathways that venture in and out of the woods are mowed and manicured, but in the parterre sections where exotic plants or culinary herbs would be planted, naturally occuring grasses, shrubs and trees are encouraged to grow. The migration of indigenous and invasive species, and changes that occur over the seasons in the wooded and meadow sections will be observed and documented as an integral part of the art work.
Once completed, visitors will be encouraged to walk the pathways of the installation and participate with feedback by making observations and suggestions.
The process has already begun, as artist Bob Chaplin begins to map out the initial layout.