This installation was created in 2010 for the ArtWalk Gallery at The Hartford Public Library. Many of the pieces were created in collaboration with several of my students: Hailey Schumacher, Katie Linke, Jess Schillinger, and Casey Hanrahan.
The Idea of This Perfect Edenic Place
This installation explores the concept of the garden, which contains numerous metaphors: for desire, abundance, growth, fertility, youth, possibility, community, stability, wealth, or the passage of time. The garden is an infinitely malleable space of unrestrained beauty and hopefulness, a sensory explosion, a quiet moment of escapism, a joyous collaboration with nature, a perfect edenic kind of place.
In this fabricated garden, handmade plants bud forth from Ms. Holder's innovative recipe of porcelain paper-clay. She sculpts her fragile and detailed forms with porcelain because of its purity of color, supple quality, and history of preciousness. The trees, plants, and flowers are not meant to replicate actual varieties of plants, but rather to capture the idea of flowers, as they live in the imagination.
Gardens, like all living things, transform over time, reacting to the elements, growing, flourishing, fading, withering. Similarly, this installation will change as Ms. Holder creates and plants new vegetation in the garden. As a result, return visits to the gallery will reveal new experiences to the viewer.