Tag Archives: The Past Looms Large

Autumn Colour Brings Joy

October 6th, 2020 | 4 Comments »

The autumn colours seem particularly intense this year at Glen Villa, my garden in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. Leaves started to turn earlier than usual and the height of the season has almost come and gone. But what a season it has been!

It started early, when a small horse chestnut tree (Aesculus pavia) began to turn.

 

This photo was taken on September
This photo was taken in mid-September

 

It continued as the sourgum trees (Nyssa sylvatica) nearby began to change colour. First one tree caught fire …

 

You can't see the tree itself, only this one branch silhouetted against the sycamore behind. Isn't the contrast gorgeous?
You can’t see the tree itself, only this one branch silhouetted against the sycamore behind. Isn’t the contrast gorgeous?

 

… then another.

 

The colour of this sourgum is quite different from the one next to it -- this one a fruit salad of peach and apricot, the other a fire of red-hot apple.
The colour of this sourgum is quite different from the one next to it. This one is a fruit salad of peaches and apricots, the other one a fireplace of red-hot pokers.

 

Everywhere colour lights up the shade. On the driveway down to the lake…

 

A view down the driveway hints at the intensity of colour this year.
A photo only hints at the intensity of colour this year.

 

…  near the house, where the stephanandra (Stephanandra incisa crispa) tumbles alongside the steps …

 

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… in the Lower Garden where a magnolia is sun-shining its heart out …

 

The sculpture in the foreground is by Louise Doucet and Satoshi Saito.
The sculpture in the foreground is by Louise Doucet and Satoshi Saito.

 

… and beside a stone wall, where the leaves of a fothergilla outdo the colours of a motley fool.

 

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The colours at the Skating Pond are past their peak but are still worth paying attention to.

 

The water is calm on a grey day.
The water is calm on a grey day.

 

Along Timelines, the trail that explores ideas about history, memory and our relationship to the world around us, Abenaki Walkers at The Clearing of the Land move proudly into the woods.

 

I particularly like how the mottled white walkers blend with the white tree trunk behind.
I particularly like how the mottled white walkers blend with the white tree trunk behind them.

 

The corrugated tin columns that form part of The Past Looms Large stride across a misty autumnal field.

 

A green path gives added punch to the russet leaves in the foreground.
A green path adds punch to the russet leaves in the foreground.

 

The temple façade stands out against a background of orange, red, yellow and green.

 

Is the temple façade under construction or is it falling down?
Is the temple façade under construction or is it falling down?

 

And everywhere, fallen leaves are scuff-able, offering carefree moments that bring out the child in me.

 

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Autumn can be a sad season but on a clear day when the sky is blue and the air crisp, I don’t feel sad, I feel energized.  What does autumn bring to your part of the world? How does it make you feel?

Making History Visible

January 16th, 2019 | 12 Comments »
Making history visible on the land is the concept that guides the projects I undertake at Glen Villa, my landscape and garden in Quebec. Recognizing and honouring what happened on the land before I came onto the scene is my way of hearing the voices of the past. It's my way of listening to what the land has to say. The land speaks in different voices from different times. Glacial erratics talk about the ice age. [caption id="attachment_7240" align="aligncenter" width="3271"] Glacial erratics form part of the waterfall at Glen Villa.[/caption]   A wolf tree standing among younger oaks

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The Past Looms Large

November 27th, 2018 | 12 Comments »
For the last eighteen months or more I've been working on an art installation that stretches along a 3-4 km trail at Glen Villa, my garden in Quebec.  The trail moves in and out of fields and forests, and each environment has its own character. When I started the project, the idea behind it wasn't entirely clear. Gradually, working with the land and listening to its story, the project took shape. Time -- how we think about it, experience it and represent it -- was a thread connecting each installation. So several

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Garden Plans: I’m Dreaming Again

March 27th, 2017 | 27 Comments »
Now that winter has dumped several feet of snow on a garden that was almost snow-free, I'm back by the fire, metaphorically at least, dreaming of the seasons ahead.   [caption id="attachment_5009" align="aligncenter" width="600"] I took this photo about ten days ago after a fresh snowfall. Today is grey. And maybe more snow will fall. I hope not.[/caption]   I'm dreaming about a trail that will lead around the property. I'm considering the route it will follow and what I will call it. I know the purpose of the trail -- it will connect art

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