“Winds are advertisements of all they touch, however much or little we may be able to read them; telling their wanderings ever by their accents alone.” – John Muir. Though ever fleeting, the wind is a truly powerful force in the landscape. There is something universally moving about the sound and feel of wind rustling in a forest or an open field, the forces of nature rendered visible by the fluid movement of plants. Yet the ubiquitous nature of wind does not forsake its regional specificity. In Quebec, farmers and rural dwellers can attest to the beauty of blue waves of flax flowers trembling in the breeze. Though the garden tradition exists in many permutations, formal tendencies often obscure the ephemeral qualities of the local landscape. 15 KNOTS focuses the senses on the most basic of landscapes, productive fields, and utilizes the elemental effects of the wind as agent of design. In this setting, 15 KNOTS responds to the regional flax crops of Quebec and utilizes Wind Walls to etch patterns onto the landscape.
The garden is comprised of timed fans located within Wind Walls that bound a field of flax. In the initial stages of the garden, a grid of flax linen flags occupies the field, inscribing the changing movement of wind while informing visitors of the productive value of the flax. Over time, the linen degrades as the flax field matures. The Wind Walls generate the force necessary to gracefully form the grass field into directional patterns, observed from the seating area. As visitors circulate along the perimeter of the field, the wind stream becomes momentarily interrupted by their presence, encouraging a direct relationship between the movement of both the visitors and the flax in the field. Here wind operates as a primary agent of design, ephemerally etching its pattern onto the landscape canvas.
15 knots at Jardins de Métis International Garden Festival – 2012 Edition
Kimberly Garza, Forbes Lipschitz and Andrew Tenbrink