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Art & Nature, A Perfect Pairing

Published in the June edition of the Garden Design Journal:

As a pre-registered SGD member Dan Hartley puts the finishing touches to his trade stand design for Dawn Conn Sculptures at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this May, and his Eco Oasis Garden on the APL Avenue at BBC Gardeners' World Live this June, he considers the importance of using art in garden design.

Pelicans by Simon Gudgeon

Gardens are unique places where art and nature are drawn together by the garden designer. Places where our interventions attempt to take the idealism of nature’s beauty and enhance it for our own satisfaction. Using art to complement garden design allows us to add a further dimension to our living, ever changing art form – bringing emotional references that the viewer can interpret helps them relate with the garden, heightening awareness and bringing about an ability to appreciate their surroundings in the moment.

Cherry by Lisa Pappon for Bull & Stein

When choosing a sculpture to place in a specific location, it can be overwhelming with so many options available. A good starting point is to carefully select art pieces that complement or offset the designed surroundings while also reflecting the client’s taste. To make the right decision, it’s helpful to consider the emotion you want the viewer to experience when they see the artwork in the garden composition.

Expression and communication

Garden art provides a unique opportunity for expression and creativity for the designer. Whether it’s a whimsical sculpture or a thought provoking abstract piece, each installation adds a touch of personality to the landscape. Enhancing the narrative of the garden.

Leaf Spirit by Simon Gudgeon

The combination of art and nature allows us to create compositions that stimulate the imagination.

Consider the level of impact, whether it be feelings of excitement, tranquillity, contemplation, or humour. Or to reinforce a style, such as a historical setting or add a sophisticated ambience to a contemporary space. The colour and material of a sculpture can be selected to either complement or contrast with other elements in the garden. To ensure that the sculpture creates the desired narrative with its surroundings, it is important to plan carefully and have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve. By doing so, the result can be extremely satisfying.

Think about the viewer’s experience of discovering the piece: is it visible from the property, from a seating place, from the whole garden? Does it draw them in a certain direction or is it a surprise along the way? Does it make them smile, stop and think, spark conversation? Whatever it does, make sure it does something.

Diving Girl by Dawn Conn

Using artistic elements in your garden designs can add depth and character. Incorporating sculpture can evoke a sense of wonder and beauty and is a powerful way to express emotions and create visually stunning environments that resonate and encourage moments of contemplation. It can add atmosphere and a sense of place to a garden, offering moments of joy and reflection for all who visit.

If you would like help turning your garden dreams into a reality, we would be delighted to hear from you!

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