Wildscope by Zoe Pearson

Opening 11th August 2018 as part of the Big Summer Get Together at the rill area of The Hidden Gardens, Wildscope is a permanent outdoor exhibition marking The Hidden Gardens 15th anniversary, featuring a series of newly commissioned artworks by Zoe Pearson.

We interviewed both Zoe and the curator Yi-An Shiau who has placed the work in the context of new materialsm and craftivism.

What is the exhibition about?

  • Zoe explained that the exhibition is about Taoism, the Bagua map and is related to Feng Shui. Basically the rill area is separated into four sections based on the compass points of North, South, East and West. The Bagua Map organises the elements, concepts such as nature, environment and surroundings; it is similar to the Islamic Garden design.
  • The pieces made are intended for visitors to explore the area more, with different perspectives.
  • Yi-An said she believes Zoe’s work ‘is very special and invites people to build their sensory experiences.’ Adding that ‘New Materialism thinks about perspective, non-human entities and also materials, how the materials are felt and expressed by the artist.’

There are four installations:

IMG_3981The Bird Bath Bowl, in collaboration with ceramist Ele Paul. The bowl holds water which is linked to North on the Bagua Map and is intended for animals of the Gardens to use, and people to use as an opportunity to reflect and observe.

IMG_4162The Learning Log was carved by Zoe as a tactile piece to emphasise the qualities of the wood so people can feel it with their hands and pick it up. ‘There is a balance to the piece, so when someone sits on it or touches it, or explores it with their hands, the weight and shape of the log is collaboration between a persons movements and touch, and the material of the wood. A mutual understanding is formed with interacting with the log. The piece suits all ages.

IMG_4005The Living Mountain is an ‘insect hotel’, a pile of logs and hollowed out trunk. It is put together with plants on top of it for insects to live. Related to the West on the Bagua Map, ‘The theme of unseen assistance and the idea is that insects provide pollination, food for birds etc. They assist the environment in many different ways most of us may be unaware of. It is an environment for insects and allows people a view into the world of insects.’

The Recycled Rug is a knotted rug made out of odd plastic bags, representing the East of the Bagua Map, and ‘signifies family and group strength and support. Using plastic (something that is wasted) and turning it into something that is useful and attractive. Giving discarded materials a life and story and the rug is a continuation of the use of storytelling in the Garden previously. the Recycled Rug opens up a new dialogue about using waste and creates a platform to discuss the common thing in their daily life.’

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Presented as part of the 2018 Graduate Deegree Show of the MLitt Curatorial Practice (Contemporary Art) course programme, established jointly by the Glasgow School of Art and the University of Glasgow. 

By James, volunteer

 

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