Art Garden

By Jo Phillips

Krijn de Koning’s new sculpture, Green / Blue, works for Gibberd Garden, Harlow, sits between a beautiful set of trees. On one hand, it commands attention in its own right, however, it also flows in harmony within the setting of raw nature. Operating between architecture and artwork, the viewer is encouraged to explore within. find out more in our fetaure Art Garden.

All images Krijn de Koning, Green / Blue, work for Gibberd Garden, Harlow (2020) © Rob Harris.

The artist was inspired by Sir Frederick Gibberd (1908-1984), the leading post-war architect, who was the Master Planner of Harlow New Town, and designer of iconic buildings such as the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and London Central Mosque. Gibberd divided and categorised various parts of the garden into ‘rooms’ and would curate unusual artworks, sculptures and even found objects left over from his building sites into his gardens. De Koning takes this as a departure for his new installation work, which marks one of the final projects for New Geographies, the region-wide arts commissioning programme which aims to bring contemporary art to unexpected places in the East of England. 

The main thread of de Koning’s practice deals with structures; how we interact and perceive the different environs that we inhabit. Green / Blue, work for Gibberd Garden, Harlow, is both striking and celebrates the place it is created for. Trees appear to grow from within the sculpture and the viewer is encouraged to go inside and experience the work and site at once. Inside, the geometric frame of the trees are described as ‘compartments’ which make the viewer see the gardens from a new perspective, whilst simultaneously being an active participant within the work.

In the words of the artist, ‘The whole installation creates a spatial game of see-through, obstruction and framing that investigates the interaction between the specific iconography of an object (in this case the trees) and the experience of a place, which is of a much wider character. The trees are as central and important as the work that surrounds them, they belong to each other. The situation is in balance, but together they put a lot of particular focus and attention to the place.’

De Koning’s sculpture is sensitive to the original design of this, one of the most important gardens of the 20th century, whilst sparking fresh wonder.

Green / Blue, work for Gibberd Garden, Harlow by Krijn de Koning is on view on until the 25 October 2020.Should this article inspire you to visit find out more info Here

To learn more about New Geographies do visit this site Here

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