Wednesday, 5 November 2008
Rothko at Stevington
I went to the Rothko exhibition at Tate Modern the other day and was astonished by the vibrancy of the colours in the Seagram Murals. We have been trying to capture the colours in 'living pictures' in the garden using purple berberis, beech and plum, as topiarised hedges in front of a wall of hornbeam. From late spring to late summer, the 'pictures' change continuously. Flowers, leaves and fruits all produce minor alterations as they form, open, mature etc; and all that is quite apart from any change in the light....morning sun, midday sun, evening sun, spring, summer and autumn! Or rain, or drizzle or cloud...so many variations; not controlled as Rothko would have insisted upon, but then that makes the artwork here all the more intriguing. And of course it grows, and grows. Then has to be trimmed and looks nothing like it did before the haircut.
Why do we bother? Well its one of the most intriguing areas of the garden; these panels of red, maroon and purple hedging create different moods to be absorbed, inhaled, digested. The smaller the variation, the more absorbing it can be if all else is uniform..ie the walls of hornbeam against which these panels are seen. Just witness the circular walls of yew hedges at Hidcote (above the circular pool) with tiny box leaves at the base. We sat in there and were completely absorbed by the minutiae of detail.
Its all in the mind!