«Imaginative Gardens» is a curatorial project which is our adaptation to the idea that after six months in the Pandemic our new inside is the outside. The project began on the 27th August 2020 with public exhibition sites in Berlin, Arkansas, Limassol, Teheran and Istanbul and finishes on the 5th September with a one-day public exhibition at Richmond Park.
Our interest in Parks as alternative spaces for art occurred out of the several months of our socialisation only in such places during quarantine.
These Parks were built by royalty and they functioned as private gardens or private hunting areas for the aristocracy. With the establishment of National Trust in the late 19th century, these spaces became accessible to the public. Places like Richmond Park in a way they represent the democratisation of being aristocratic and are loaded with the agency of what is called the picturesque: The British imagination informed by literature, paintings, economic and politics.
National Parks are of national and international importance for their rich political and socio-economic history from their medieval and post-medieval ownership to the role they played in WWI and II. A Park’s “life” importance though lies as well in the cultural role its landscapes played in inspiring many famous artists, authors and poets.
Public spaces that were utilised for military training, recruitment rallies, transport staging posts, aerial defence and temporary accommodation could at the same time transform into a private portal to where imagination breaks loose and intervenes on the plasticity of space and time. Our Project “Imaginative Gardens” attempted to explore different tangled identities of Parks as public spaces around the world and how their character is bent and manipulated physically and imaginatively in times of need.