Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Spirit of the Garden

This year's theme for the Maudslay Outdoor Sculpture exhibit is Trace. When I was thinking about my proposal last spring, my daughter was researching the history of Maudslay and brought home a book called The Spirit of the Garden by Martha Brookes Hutcheson, who designed the gardens at Maudslay between 1904 and 1906 . When I read this quote from the introduction, I knew I had to find a way to make it part of my piece.

The garden is…the resting-place of the spirit—the place of inspiration and promise, of tranquility and intense personal claim…

I decided I would write the quote on bricks and install them in the formal garden that she designed. Changes to a walk at our house this summer gave an ample supply of weathered bricks. My initial plan was to try to write with ground moss mixed with beer according to a recipe I read online. I don't know whether my mixture or the heat this summer were responsible, but the moss did not grow. I then decided to make the writing look like the mortar in between the bricks in the wall.

I started with a thick black paint used for painting trees after pruning.

I then sprinkled mortar mix onto the wet lettering.

I had hoped that it would look like mortar but most of it washed away after I wet the surface of the bricks. It did add a nice texture to the letters and I then painted over it with a gray primer.

Find out more about the pioneering landscape architect Martha Brookes Hutcheson.

Her book, The Spirit of the Garden

More images of the installation.

More about Maudslay Outdoor Sculpture which runs from September 12 to October 3 at Maudslay State Park in Newburyport, MA.

1 comment:

Wen said...

JUST FOUND YOU-looking forward to reading your blog. I live in nearby NH, so imagine my surprise to find you and you live near by!

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