I had a discussion with my very good friend about producing art installations at a flower show. He remarked about the shallowness of the public’s perception of art produced through the medium of landscape, land sculpture, the whole furore over the new categories within the garden shows. Conceptual gardens is the title given to them at Hampton Court Flower Show. He was commenting on the lack in the crowds that attended.
I had to agree with him as I often listened to the comments made about the various gardens. On many occasions they simply viewed them as gardens and dismissed them with distain. Others were extremely polite and expressed their delight but often the caveat was – what is it supposed to be?
On the odd occasion somebody would come up gleaming and thanking the designer…’I get it completely. It’s amazing.’ I witnessed this with my friends creations. And on a few occasions my own.
He would get quite cross at the rudeness of some people in their disregard of anything that pushed the boundaries of art and gardening. These designers were often referred to as freaks and the area of the show as freaks corner.
For me there was so much more happening in these gardens because, as in all things I ponder about, there was a metaphor for something way deeper. For me the artist produces for the audience that takes time to interact and see the true brilliance of the crafter, not for those that dismiss it after a lazy perusal. For I saw this in other things, especially those things that the world does its utmost to decry.
This poem was written for the ones that take time to read, ponder and find the true meaning.
Do you know the designer?
Contemplating the finished article
Full of plants.
Pleasing the eye,
Making your eyes dance with the possibilities,
It’s purpose veiled.
That inner dimension,
its meaning left unexplained
So the viewer has to work.
To the uninitiated
It’s a statement of human deprivation,
A carnal infusion of passion born out of a hunger to control.
To those that want to see deeper below the layers,
To glimpse that otherness beyond the here and now,
That solid world –
There is more!
Oh, so much more!
Where the heart and soul of the designer
Is impregnated within his creation.
Where the mind and passion of his genius are uncovered
In one sweeping picture.
Do you get it?
Or do you dismiss it with a gesture that feigns intelligence
But that really demonstrates the ignorance of life,
Eyes dimmed by living in the company of those
With their gaze lit only by the light of their own lofty revelations.
Yet they sit on pillars
While the designer invites you to the sky.
His intention is to lift the viewer that dares.
His desire is on that person who looks long and hard enough
To begin to see the intricacies of this performance,
This art show that has to allow for so much confusion.
In the midst
The final piece that causes so much revulsion,
The act that gives the ones that interact
The invitation of total involvement.
To step right through the cordon
To become a true part of the installation
Rather than one that merely watches from the sideline.
Watching and seeing but not quite understanding.
But isn’t that part of the art too?
Yes – he would say,
The sad part
Because he would not usurp choice
Allowing the freedom to interpret his genius
With derision or devotion
The vortis that is belief.