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Les jardins mobiles

For New Richmond, architect Pierre Thibault has invented a modular system for creating tension between art and the environment: between the city, sea and mountain, rolling, floating, lighted and perched gardens will take shape.

The Garden

Pierre Thibault's garden project for New Richmond bears an epigraph, a quotation from another artist who explores Quebec landscapes, René Derouin: “Art is a total commitment that integrates the environment, society, culture and politics. Once shared with the public, it becomes part of our collective memory."

And that is the strength of the architect who has managed to articulate these mobile gardens with the environmental, social and political dimensions of the splendid Pointe Taylor park. The land for the park on Chaleur Bay was donated to the City of New Richmond by a pulp and paper company, and the park now combines social activities and ecological enhancement. Pierre Thibault has skilfully drawn on the site, its history and contemporary realities by proposing an evolving way of expressing awareness of the landscape, in particular the awareness that gave birth to Pointe Taylor park and allowed it to develop.

The designer has put forward a three-year plan, to be carried out from 2004 to 2006. He will begin by creating a structure for developing gardens in situ and producing a first series of pieces that will roam the site. Then other recognized creators, school groups and cultural associations will be invited to express themselves in the garden medium developed by Pierre Thibault. Every year, the public will choose some of these gardens to be kept in a permanent location.

To give poetic strength and plastic coherency to a tool that encourages participation, can be adopted by others and evolves over time, the designer has come up with a canvas allowing artists to express themselves that calls for carefully planned formats, the systematic use of local elements and well-defined approaches to inserting the gardens so that they contrast with their surroundings. The assortment will include rolling, floating, lighted and perched gardens and combinations of all these, with required features designed to ensure that they engage in a dialogue with the key elements in the environment.

Consequently, the initial mobile gardens to be launched by Pierre Thibault will include luminous signals in the forest, on the beach or in the water incorporating indigenous plants or a collection of objects left by the sea, all under glass, as if they were pieces of art; rolling gardens placing the key elements of the environment in motion—the shifting wind in a garden of windmills, freshwater aquatic plants promenading through the forest or on the seashore; and, finally, floating and perched gardens that will highlight the contrasts between certain key components of the landscape.

Architect: Atelier Pierre Thibault

Years of exhibition: 2003

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