Saturday, September 21, 2013

Eden Gardens
Resource Review

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

"Eden Gardens" is an interesting venue to hold an art exhibition since its primary objective is to invigorate your sensual perceptions along the boundaries between art and nature. As one aspect of my art continuum is “Environmental Art” using my MSDS technique and disperse dyes on a delustered polyester medium, you would think that my artwork would be a natural fit for such a venue. However, sometimes complementaries can meld rather than distinctively disturb and sharpen one’s senses with respect to the act of engagement because the Gardens are also filled with sculptures that generate a similar voice.

Eden Gallery is a unique, but captured space. So it is within these two different captured spaces – the Gardens and Eden Gallery – that provide real contrasting atmospheres. In each of these spaces, it is the plants that dominate the senses and so my environmental art in such a setting becomes a conscious expression and obsession of the fragility of three-dimensional life that is no longer truly unfettered. Will the last wilderness become a plot within a garden setting that is surrounded by suburbia? The philosophy of my “Environmental Art” strives to prick your consciousness in order not to allow this to happen! Education - via Art or Garden - is a very powerful transforming medium that can create an understanding of why sustainability is a necessary gift for life in general.

Marie-Therese with her diptych - Sequestration of CO2 - at Eden Gallery.

It is therefore incumbent on me - before I show you my retrospective exhibition (which is next week's post) – I need to give you a feel for Eden Gardens.

The Place
Eden Gardens & Garden Centre is located only 20 minutes from Sydney’s CBD. It is situated on 2.5 hectares (over 6 acres) in North Ryde and is set against the trees of Lane Cove National park.

Eden Gardens in the foreground and a crane of North Sydney in the background.

Australian entrepreneur Simon Ainsworth is the founder and Managing Director of Eden Gardens. He opened the award winning flagship center at the end of 2004. It has since won numerous awards.

Simon Ainsworth.

It contains all elements of the Eden Gardens business model; that is, a commitment to provide contemporary living solutions, quality products, friendly service and through their efforts in horticulture and education, they are committed to making their community a better place. Currently the center employs over 80 staff.

Eden Gardens.

Designed by Architect Lionel Glenenning, the main building is a modern, architecturally striking design. Built with sustainability in mind, the center’s buildings allow as much natural light as possible and moreover, assists the airflow to circulate. It generates some solar power, which is used to heat water, thereby reducing its reliance on carbon emission electricity usage.

Front façade of the entrance into the Eden Garden complex.

The Display Gardens
The Display Gardens was designed by landscape Architect Jon Shinkfield. It features a man made reservoir containing rainwater collected and recycled from the gardens and used to flush toilets and water plants in the Garden Centre and Display Gardens. The North Ryde site previously contained a brick pit and the existing Display Gardens features a tower constructed from bricks made there.

The layout of Eden Gardens in North Ryde.

Daffodil Garden Dispay.

Looking down on hedges from the aerial walkway.

Garden vistas suddenly come into view.

Open structured tunnel often used as a bridal or groom entry into a open air wedding ceremony.

Outside room that looks onto a garden setting.

Water feature along a walk way.

A formal water feature/walkway.

The Facilities
Eden Garden also offers a number of facilities from conference meetings to outside tutorials on gardening to gift shops to a café (Dragonfly Café) to an art gallery.

Patrons of the Dragon Fly café – outside seating.

Patrons inside the Dragon Fly Café.

Hmmm – yum, yum!

Further outside eating facilities.

The Gift shop.

Another view of the shop.

Outside setting for garden tutorials.

The Greek amphitheatre.

Oh yes - they do sell plants!

The Art in the Garden
Sculpture features heavily in Eden Gardens. It is a natural fit since it structures the Gardens into boundaries of sorts. As you meander from one garden vista to another the sculptural forms anchor the artistic and garden spaces into distinct atmospheres. Not all of the sculptural forms will be listed here, rather a taster on what is offered will give you a glimpse of the artistic narrative.

Artist: Col Henry – Fiddle Sticks (2009).
Sculpture in the vineyards.
PVC pipe/steel supports.

Artist: Ayad Algaragholli – Heavenly Kiss (2011).
Sculpture by the sea.
Silicon bronze/high tensile steel.

Artist: John Turier – Pineapple-man (2004).

Yellow tree and painted nest box.

Michael Garth – Busy Bee (2004).

Artist: Trevor Weekes – The Eden Tree (2004).
Bronze/stainless steel.

Next week my exhibition - When Rainforest Glowed @ Eden Gardens.

1 comment:

Lesley Turner said...

Fabulous. Thanks for sharing. Eden Gardens is now on my Sydney Visit list.