Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Two of my favorite pairings: a good book and lovely snack; a garden with art on display. On a rainy Friday I was treated to the latter, where artist Alexis Pace is showing her work in Le Petit Versailles Community garden, Houston Street between Ave B & Ave. C. The garden itself is tiny, but just big enough to provide a green and cultural oasis in Alphabet City. (double click on any image to enlarge)
Pace has avoided the obvious (don't all gardens have sculpture?) by creating photographic images, which, though sleeved in plastic, are expected to degrade during the course of the show.In her artist's statement Pace says "Dis-Embodied/Re-Embodied is a site-specific garden installation of larger-than-life photographs. Five foot tall female body parts and limbs are abstracted and manipulated almost to the point of non-recognition, distilled back to their basic elements of lines and curves. Blown-up to a hyper-real size, they can no longer be compared to any “ideal” instead, they can once again be viewed and appreciated for their inherent beauty. As this is a month-long installation, the images are designed to naturally decay as the season progresses, further reflecting the impermanence of beauty."
Someone has strewn mirrors around this small garden, reflecting and enlarging the plantings from all angles, a hot tip for any urban or small-space garden.
Reduced to using my I-phone camera in the rain, these images can't possibly do justice to Pace's work, but you still have four more days to go see for yourself. If you're one of GardenBytes readers from Indonesia or Brazil, even So. Cal or NH, visit the artist at her website where she has some astounding images and her complete bio.
This exhibit will run through the month of September, open to the public Thursday through Sunday 2-7pm, but like all community gardens run by volunteers, availability is somewhat flexible.


Shady Gardener said...

Enlarged photos to degrade... what a wonderful idea!! So, I have a sad comment to leave with you... my Apios Americana succumbed to the extreme heat and drought this summer. It had begun growing quite vigorously and I was excited!! I have wonderful neighbors that watered when I was gone from time-to-time this summer... but one week did it in. Boo.

Robin Horton/Urban Gardens said...

OMG, love this share, thanks! Another little known piece of heaven I need to see for myself now.

Ellen Spector Platt said...

LK said:"Yesterday’s posting was gorgeous as was the wonderful text that went with it."

Ellen Spector Platt said...

Robin, FYI, I counted 6 small community/public gardens on Houston,between Ave. C and 6th, including the BMW-Guggenheim Pop-up Lab open 'til 10/16; nice plantings in medial strip on Houston.

Ellen Zachos said...

Shady, so sorry the Apios succumbed to the drought; they do prefer a moist soil. Don't give up hope, though. Maybe the tubers are still in tact beneath the surface and it went dormant to protect itself. After frost you could dig around and see if you find any tubers. If they feel firm, leave them in place for next year.

Fingers, crossed!

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