Thursday, April 22, 2010

Olafur Eliasson

Today I came across another intersting artist- Olafur Eliasson: born in Copenhagen with islandic background and now running a studio with approximately 35 people (artists, architects, scientists, art hisorians etc.) in Berlin and also teaching at the Berlin University for Arts.
He is famous for his artistic works that always include physical phenomen of nature- water and light, movement and reflexion.
In his project "Green River" from 1998-2001 he coloured rivers in Tokyo (Japan), Bremen (Germany), Stockholm (Sweden), Moss (Norway) and Los Angeles (USA) green. 
Imagine to colour water features in gardens a particular colour!

I also love his Ice Pavilion that he built for the Reykjavik Art Museum in 1998. I know it is spring but how "cool" is that?! Just a different kind of sculpture...

Unfortunately I am not allowed to show pictures from his homepage on this blog but if you are interested, this is the link to the green rivers:  "Green River" Moss, Norway 1998

He is currently running an exhibition about Berlin in Berlin, started on April 28th 2010.
You can buy his books at Amazon:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spring near San Francisco- Filoli Gardens

Filoli Gardens and House are located 30miles south of San Francisco and got build in 1915 by Mrs. and Mr. William Bourne, who not only owned a gold mine but was also the owner and president of the Spring Valley Water Company.

The Bournes originally came from Irland, so house and gardens were designes with many elements you would recognise belonging to an English Country Estate.

The house itself measures 4000sqm (!!!) and sits in 654acres of land, a big part of that being beautifully landscaped by various designers, architects and artists.
The house, the garden and the grounds were planned as one unit: the formal garden, starting with the terraces and the sunken garden, following the construction of the house. The entire garden was built between 1917 and 1929.

The strength of the garden's design is its long links to the house and its compartmentalized character defined by its hedges and walls. It remains remarkably preserved as one of the few surviving and best examples of an English Renaissance style garden. Despite to many of the original prototypes in England its design survived through out the years and can be visited now by the public.

You can now visit the Sunken Garden, the Walled Garden, the Rose Garden, the Knot Garden, the Dutch Garden, the Fruit Garden, the Meadow and various other places all located on about 10 acres. Although I was late for spring I could still take some beautiful pictures of spring flowers, the tulips were just about to leave.

Filoli Estate is a California State Historic Landmark and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
It was given to the National Trust by the second owner Mrs. Roth, so when you go into the house everything is still there as if she just went for a walk...
Ongoing events and exhibitions as well as new seasonal planting make this place worth a visit!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The new way of ecological gardens

If you don't have the money to buy a plot then you might think about doing the same like Richie Sowa, an english artist and musician who built his own island in Mexico out of more than 250.000 recycled plastic bottles! :-)))

He collected floating plastic bottles, tied them together in nets and placed them underneath a bamboo and plywood structure. The original island (before getting destroyed by a hurricane in 2005) measured 66x54 ft and offered space for a two-story house, solar oven, self-composting toilet and multiple beaches...

After Spiral Island was destroyed Richie slowly build another one (Spiral Island II with app.100.000 bottles so far), in a more safe spot near Isla Mujeres, Mexico and opened it to the public in 2008 where he meets with friends, supporters and turists.

Spiral Island II has beaches, a house, 2 ponds, a solar-powered waterfall/river, and solar panels.
The government treats the island not as an island but as a boat because it is floating. if you want to know more, go to the Spiral Island Community and become a Fan or Supporter.

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