Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Spoons, poles and plastic tunnels

After a good ten minutes of walking through the mystery forest – there was only one path, so you couldn’t get lost – we saw, some 20 metres ahead of us, a flimsy curtain floating in the wind. We walked up to it, pulled it aside and finally discovered the actual Festival Park. We had walked in through what appeared to be the ‘back wall’ of one of the gardens!

It had been raining the night before and the paths leading from one garden to another were quite muddy. There few people around and we could visit the 18 or so gardens in the best possible circumstances.

The 2003 theme was ‘Chaos’. Some gardens were simply beautiful, others were pure genius and some were very minimalist. We were surprised to find that one or two were even …‘ugly’.

The one I liked best was this ingenious combination of grass mats and spoons.

Large patches of grass had been lifted into the air on one side, where they were being supported by wooden stakes. Underneath them, shining tablespoon had been stuck upside down into the bare earth. The rounded surface of the spoons reflected the sunlight, and it was as if hundreds of sprinkling diamonds were laid out under the grass mats.

This minimalist garden was a collection of giant Mikado Sticks planted roughly into the ground, without any distinctive pattern or order. There were no flowers or plants to liven it up.

Any idea what the artist who made this plastic tunnel wanted to express?

We spent well over two hours wandering from one garden to another. The sun had come out and the wet ground was drying up nicely. All this walking had made us hungry and thirsty and we decided to make our way to the restaurant area of the Festival.

More about that tomorrow.


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