Grim Gardens



As the viewer enters the piece, trodding over soft turf to poke their head through a hole in the corner, they are greeted with an interior landscape of planted soil, beyond which a video loop of driving down a suburban road is playing. The smell of the soil and the feel of the turf beneath the viewer’s feet provide sensory information that informs a bodily response to the work in addition to a visual response.  I’m interested in how our connection to place is mediated through this sensorial intake of environmental information, and how that connection affects our ability to care for the natural resource systems that we rely upon. Specific to the suburbs, I’m concerned about the loss of attachment to place that occurs when the outside world is mediated through a car, as the infrastructure is set up in such a way that driving is practically unavoidable.  The isolation created by infrastructure based around personal vehicles impedes meaningful interaction with people from various walks of life, preventing a well-rounded awareness of community.