karrie hovey ..the Garden Grows : Inside and Out
Solo exhibition – Telfair Museum/Jepson Center, Savannah, GA
Branch materials – The trunk of the tree is made from the newspaper on the day Mandela died. The
leaves are packing plastic and garbage bags.
This is a site-specific installation for the museum inspired by the Oak filled and plant populated squares of the Historic District in Savannah. The intention was to blur the boundary between the outside and inside of the museum and to disrupt the beautiful yet stark architecture of the institution. About the: …the Garden Grows series. I am intrigued by the impact of global trade, patterns of consumer culture, and the aftermath of our consumption. I explore the symbiotic relationship between the hu¬man landscape and the natural environment by re-creating plantscapes using the bi-products of our buy-product disposable society. Each passing season’s wares feed our insatiable desire to purchase “beauty,” to own the “latest,” and to obtain the “new” while removing us from a natural, organic cycle of renewal and growth and replacing it with one of consumption and waste.
Specific to the Branch piece:
The first installation location is inspired by the Safdie’s design of the Jepson Center that blurs the edge between the inside of the museum and the outside square. The live oaks in the square appears to almost reach through the wall of windows in the atrium area.
Safdie’s design of the Jepson Center creates shadow in response to the daily shifts in light much like the shadows that are cast by the live oak trees in the squares. The light and shadows are always changing in response to the outside conditions. The shadow is both graphic while also managing to be organic by combining the elegant curves with the repeated linear elements.
I created a limb of an oak that appeared to be connected to the tree that kisses the edge of the building. It was as if the branch extends from the outside tree into the interior space of the atrium. The leaves of the constructed branch interfered with and became part of the shadows cast by the architecture, blurring and obscuring the barrier between inside and out.