Snip Snap

  • Client:

    International Garden Festival at Redford Gardens

  • Type: Competition
  • Year: 2009
  • Status: Unbuilt
  • Location: Grand-Métis, Quebec, Canada
  • Size: 1/2 acre

‘Paradise’, the theme of 2009’s International Garden Festival at Redford Gardens, is a symbiotic balance of interactions between individuals, species and ecosystems. Snip Snap considers human’s historical desire to dominate the natural environment or, more recently, to leave the environment to it’s own devises and shifts the notion of destructive master or impish bystander into symbiotic friend. The existing tree canopy is first photographed from the ground in a inverse aerial photography method. Then the canopy is selectively pruned where needed in clean, perfect squares in a somewhat linear sequence to imply a path through the woods. The images of the pruned square areas prior to pruning, are printed in black and white on a biodegradable landscaping screen that allows sunlight to pass through. These screens are suspended in the pruned clearing they depict. The experience walking through this installation first engages the visitor’s awareness of the ground plane via the light pattern created by these screened square openings in the canopy to the sky. The walker then looks up to see where the pattern of light is coming from and sees a complete canopy made up of the ‘real’ leaves and black and white images of the ‘virtual’ leaves. As the summer passes, the pruned branches will flourish and grow as the biodegradable screens wear away. Creating a symbiotic relationship between our historical desire to control and tame the landscape into an ideal form, while addressing a modern notion of symbiosis with the natural environment that involves humans as equal participants in the health and evolution of our total environment.