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An artistic garden of two halves

The relationship of the natural world to both art and architecture is celebrated in the debut Ellerslie International Flower Show exhibition garden by designer Kevin Gillespie.

The two halves of Manawatu landscape architect Kevin Gillespie’s debut Ellerslie International Flower Show exhibition garden which explores the relationship of the natural world to both art and architecture.

The Manawatu landscape architect from GLD Architectural Landscape Design will create a garden of two halves – a studio and a gallery – set within the context of the bright, colourful and geometric work of the artist Mondrian.

Kevin says for millennia, the natural world has been used by artists as inspiration for creativity, the landscape movement of the 18th century being inspired by the Dutch landscape paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries to reflect the natural world.

Kevin, formerly from theUnited Kingdom, has been living inNew Zealandfor the last four years and says good architecture in all guises responds creatively to the natural environment and should be used to frame and enhance the setting.

“I have always been interested in the relationship between the natural world and architecture and thought it would be interesting to explore how you could portray art within the landscape context.”

His garden, Art is Landscape – Landscape is Art has a studio at the front of the 10m x 10m space, located within a heavily vegetated garden with water flowing through the area. The planting dominates this part of the garden, juxtaposed with the simple but eye-catching architecture of the studio. Here the plants provide the artistic inspiration.

This leads through to a gallery of floating decks painted in Mondrian’s primary colours of blue, red and yellow. The same colours are found on the fences, creating art in the landscape and linking the two spaces. This part of the hard landscape is dominated by framed vegetation which becomes the artwork in the controlled environment.

“This garden is about creative interaction of architecture, art and soft landscape design.”

He says the plant palette will predominantly be native, the form and colour of the plants providing the interest in the design rather than flowers.

Kevin admits he is “not much of a flower fan” preferring the architectural shape of plants and exploring how they relate to the landscape and environment and using the plants to soften the structures.


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