In mid-August, the Northern Ontario Society of Architects (NOSA) joined the festivities of Up Fest in Sudbury, Ontario. The three day long festival featured live music and interactive art installations, culminating in an all-night art crawl through the downtown core. NOSA’s contribution was a large scale interactive installation titled “The Garden of Unearthly Delights.”
Located in “Le Crac”, a narrow alleyway transformed into outdoor performance and arts space, “The Garden of Unearthly Delights” was comprised of a sequence of three rooms; Threshold, Hanging Garden and Spectator Knoll. Juxtaposed with the given natural setting of the urban garden, these rooms each housing a single manufactured and unearthly tree, aim to suggest a relationship between the real and the imagined.
Threshold, marked the entrance of The Garden of Unearthly Delights. This yellow angled structure decreased in scale as visitors were drawn into the installation where they encountered a forest of recognizable and contrasting pink trees. Located within a clearing in the forest was the Hanging Garden, an orange room raised 1.4m above the earth. Viewers accessed the space from below through circular openings in the floor; standing beneath the structure only their head entered into the space. A chandelier of pink-orange flowers hung from the ceiling-less room. A backlit red wall kinked across and along the rear of the space to frame the Spectator Knoll. From this ramped perch, the knoll provided quiet recluse from the activity of the festival. Formally, the raised platform and its shallow angle invited users to perch upon its surface, while also providing a new vantage point from which the visitors were able to sit, rest and watch others discover the unearthly garden.
The installation was a collaboration between NOSA and the Wood and Ink Design Collective. Collaborators:
Vincenzo Verbena NOSA is one of the local grass-roots societies of the Ontario Association of Architects. NOSA provides a venue for dialogue between local architects, a support network for professional advice, social interaction among the architectural community and opportunities for leadership, continuing education and community outreach. Wood and Ink is a local design collective comprised of husband and wife carpenter and architect, Matthew Schultze and Amber Salach.