By Cathy VIVIÈS and Vanessa FARBOS
How can we talk about happy diversity without talking about the Origin of the World?
This warning garden was inspired by Gustave Courbet’s painting and invites you to pay particular attention to the initial exuberance of the plants and to what we risk doing to this, if our desires are not enlightened by our conscience. The visit goes hand in glove with our origin, but this crack can become a rift, a split in the natural order, which allows a completely artificial garden to emerge with false plants, as if we had to recreate in a synthetic way to compensate for a declining biodiversity.
This fake garden is under a bubble, enclosed in an environment of artificial respiration.
Further on, a mirror reflects our image, that of people and their preoccupations, of their relationship with nature and its metamorphoses. Visitors pass their heads through this pierced mirror and find themselves face to face with the other side of the décor: the mirror broken on the ground, as if mankind no longer existed without its obsessive and narcissistic quest for a perfect image, an ideal garden. As if mankind had gone too far…
Can the abundance which was at the origin of mankind survive its own exploitation and development? How far can we go in organizing the plant world? Aren’t we taking the risk, over time, of finding the same gardens in New York, Rio or Shanghai?
Once tastes have been globalized, what will the pursuit of universal beauty demand? These are the questions asked by this poetic garden of the future.
This is a tale evoking a mysterious garden of the future, which might begin like this:
“Oreline has left the marked path, caught up in sparkles of crystalline light. Her eyes look up to shining objects, which she sees from the pathway; they are poles crowned with small bottles. These bubbles seem to enclose rare and precious objects which are infinitely small. Oreline wonders what their strange contents might be.
Then she notices that there are names written on the stems. The little girl concentrates, takes time to discover each word, some are gentle, some strange, but all of them seem to her to have come straight out of a tale, of another time, except for a “Linnaea Borrealis.”
She remembers that in days gone by her grandfather often talked to her about a plant that grew alongside the path which led to the house. The little girl has just understood that she is in a unique place, at the heart of a living library where there is a collection of seeds from plants that have disappeared.
This is a place to remember the history of the plant world; it is the outcome of the massive destruction of nature caused by mankind.
After taking some time to find out all about this, Oreline leaves this unique place to continue her journey, but the memory of this place will come back to enrich the stories and legends told to children in the evening to help them go to sleep.”
RELATED PLANTING FOR THE PLANET STORIES AND VIDEOS:
Cathy Vivies is a garden designer with a diploma from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure du Paysage [National Higher Institute for Landscape] in Versailles. In the initial stages of her professional life, when she was a fashion designer, she created her own clothes brands. She specialised in knitwear and was fascinated by the influence of colours in our lives, which led her to design clothes based on the harmony between skin pigmentation and moods linked to colours. Then came her collections with numerous brands, including Spitak – Escorpion Group, Veste Bene, GÈrard Darel Group, etc. For the paper maker, OCB, she organised a competition for young fashion designers and launched the OCB Urban Wear brand, presented at “Who’s Next” as the collection for a generation that is permanently on the move. Then in the 2000s, she launched a concept for the restoration of furniture and objects under the Happy Art brand name. The collections were presented to fit in with the fashion seasons. She was influenced by the Pop Art movement and her furniture rediscovered its bright colours, giving it a second life. After doing some work in films, where she discovered another quest, for the alchemy between light and movement, she went back to school to widen her horizons to the field of landscape. The ENSP [National Higher Institute for Landscape] gave her new perspectives on the changing seasons and the management of colours, in design and then the everyday life of public and private spaces. There, Cathy Vivies again found what she wanted to satisfy her insatiable need to manipulate colours and volumes in space. Nowadays she designs and creates gardens and plant walls and will soon be collaborating with Yann KersalÈ, a visual artist working with light.
Vanessa Farbos is now a garden designer and she recently got her diploma from the ENSP [National Higher Institute for Landscape] in Versailles. She has always had an interest in textures and matter. In addition, she did studio work with ceramists like Augusto Tozzola and Yoshimi Futamura, where she gave form to matter, using turning and modelling techniques. Doing Raku was to be a revelation: transforming matter, changing states. Before entering the World of Plants, her studies in economics turned her in the direction of town planning in the cinema and leisure sectors, which enabled her to mix with renowned architects and cultivate close relationships with the understanding of space. Then, not feeling close enough to matter, to the “Truth”, out of conviction she chose to work with plants: her gardens want to tell a story, not to be simple decorative objects. Her aim is to work with architects right from the start of projects, so as to think about places in their entirety.