Wednesday, 26 October 2011

More Gnomes

Hundertwasser had a surprising amount to say about 'Garden Dwarves'. Maybe not so surprising in the context of his gnomic vision of a world where human dwellings blended seamlessly into the organic landscape. Gardens traditionally contain art that evokes the presence of nature spirits- perhaps our subtle intuition of such presences goads us into making images of them...

"My theory is that the garden dwarf is a mind of god, the god of very ancient times which was destroyed - maybe even destroyed by our monotheism. He personifies the bad conscience of man towards nature. When people feel they wrong nature they place this garden dwarf as an excuse. He is small because grass and flowers are small, so he is smaller and can talk better to the snails and the rabbits and the animals who are generally small - as we can no longer do. He is always there, in the sun, in the rain."

Perhaps. Grass and flowers are not always small. The tallest tree in the world, named Hyperion by those who discovered it, is a redwood, Sequoia sempervirens. It is growing on the Californian coast and currently measures just over 115m. Douglas firs of 15m grow as epiphytes on its branches. What manner of garden dwarf would we need to construct to talk to this creature on our behalf?

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