"Gardening was something I learned in my youth when I was unhappy".
Claude Monet *
Horticultural movements through time have inspired the world of arts in ancient and in modern civilizations, in Eastern and Western societies. Yet in GARDENING, the garden as a subject is secondary or in some cases literally non existing; what is central is the idea of GARDENING as a way it represents a serious contribution to a good life, close to Aristotle’s Eudaimonia which implicates living well or happiness as an active virtuous activity instead of a static goal.
The GARDENING exhibition at FLATLAND GALLERY follows different paths of ‘ a good life’.
The idea to live well has been supported by Professor David E. Cooper who wrote ‘A Philosophy of Gardens’ (Oxford University Press) in which he addresses why gardens are of such great significance to so many people. Cooper insists that it is only through the infusion of human activity in working cooperatively with nature to create gardens and then to dwell in them appreciatively that gardens reveal their true meaning.
GARDENING is about a state of rootlessness (enjoying garden parties, swimming in a garden pool, indulging in solitary reverie) and working compulsively on all the things that need our care to grow, such as planning, studying, evaluating and acting sensibly.
GARDENING is a small curated show that looks broadly and deeply at the combinement of the ‘jungle’ and the ‘lawn’.
The garden is an epiphany (moment when you feel that you understand, or become conscious of something that is very important to you) – (powerful religious experience) of man’s relationship to the mystery of existence.
Gioia de Bruijn (1986) photography
Anouk Griffioen (1979) drawing
Johan Grimonprez (1962) film
Matt Henry (1978) photography
Jocelyn Lee (1962) photography
Sanja Marušić (1991) photography
David Verbeek (1980) film and photography
Guy Yanai (1977) painting
* Claude Monet, quoted in René Delange, ‘Claude Monet’, L’Illustration, 4374, 15 January 1927, p.59, in: Catalogue published on the occasion of the exhibition ‘Painting the modern garden: Monet to Matisse’. Exhibition organised by the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Royal Academy of Arts, page 17, 2015.
(left) Guy Yanai, End of Europe (Lisbon), 2015, oil on linen, 130 x 100 cm © Elad Sarig / (right) Common weekend scene, 2012, Silver gelatin baryte print, 30 x 45 cm © Gioia de Bruijn