This project proposal I made in collaboration with Canadian sculptor Myriam van Neste for the international garden art festival Chaumont-sur-Loire in 2012. Unfortunately the competition jury did not choose our proposal to be completed. However, it gave us lots of ideas for the future. With this project  proposal we wanted to offer the viewer an open window into the realm of sensations of the North. We both come from northern environments: Myriam van Neste from Canada and I from Finland. The scale in these countries is different, but the elements of nature are very similar: timeless, serene, calm and somewhat melancholic. We wanted to reflect these northern landscape images in the structures and materials of the garden proposal. This was created by varying the amount of light in the garden. The changing flow of light was created through a flock of birds seemingly flying over the visitors’ heads: densely grouped at the far end of the garden, they slowly spread towards the opposite end of the space, creating a feeling that the garden visitor moves through the four seasons, towards the extreme darkness, winter. The feeling of "seasonal journey" was emphasized with plant and material choices that get more raw, low on the ground, barren and scarse towards the dark end corner of the garden.

The change of light in the garden is created with semi-transparent bird silhouettes (see picture below). Seasonal birds are typical elements of the northern landscapes, signs of spring and winter, the extreme light and darkness.
Picture: Myriam van Neste

The semi-transparent bird silhouettes, cut from plexiglass, were attached as flocks above the garden, more densely towards the right end corner of the garden. They created an image of seasonal birds flying from darkness towards light.

Site plan of the garden, not in scale. The simple flowing forms together with the scarse plant and construction materials reflected the images we had in our minds from our home landscapes.

Above: Bird slhouette costruction showed in parts in the plan. Below: Elevation from the site. The location of the elevation is marked to the plan picture above (right). The images are not in scale.

The plant and ground cover materials imitated the four seasons of the northern nature, changing from blooming flower beds to more scarse materials like grasses, pebbles and pine cones towards the dark end corner of the installation.

Vegetation plan, not in scale. Vegetation imitated the northern nature environments, although it was "adjusted" to garden show environment by adding masses of blue-coloured ornamental plants to the plan.

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