Tag Archives: Wall Piece


the search continues in a garden of texts

the garden

The Garden (installation)



The Garden (full view)


The Garden (detail)

The Garden (detail)


The yellow piece, The Garden, uses the same shape but inverts it. Here the thread remains. The shapes for these plans are derived from the Egyptian symbols which name the twenty one regions through which the Egyptian boat of the dead has to pass on its way to “heaven’. The words ‘where is my house’ and ‘ tell me where’ come from a Sumerian poem 5,000 B.C. dealing with exile and belonging. In the yellow piece titled, ‘The garden’ the search travels through metaphorical notions of the garden. So I began with the idea of a garden in the desert, a walled garden, where a section of the house protects and separates an internal space from an external infinite space. Here the garden mediates, negotiates. It becomes a second permeable skin through which we breathe in the outside, infinity in small amounts. The first garden, Eden, is also the beginning of desire and exile. The name which appears in the top left hand corner of the work heralds not so much a place as a moment in time.

Texts in ‘The Garden’: The work begins with a quote from Michael Ondaatje’s: The English Patient, (a text whose primary themes question the nature of desire and redemption).            ‘ … the desert could not be claimed or owned – it was a piece of cloth carried by winds, never held down by stones …’. The quote becomes an image, it becomes the ground of the work — a pale yellow ochre wash on a white wall.

The words in printed Courier typeface are all first person quotes. ‘tell me where, is a continuation of the Sumerian poem in which Innana searches for home. In this piece home is framed not in terms of physical location but in the texts of others. Home is only ever a transitory thing, something that happens when we cross the paths of those who have journeyed the same way.

The words in hand painted Gouache are third person quotes: ‘the book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us,’ Kafka’s statement, is also a question: is this the problem, our common indifference, a kind of original sin? And is the book as axe, the answer, the agent of connection, a way through to redemption. In The Garden the text is both image and voice. ‘ please water the peonies,’ can be seen not only as first person voice but it can also be seen as a path through the desert.