Rojia Dadashzadeh & Allison Hardy
Gardens, both as form and idea, have had a major impact on the development of visual art. Landscape Painting is a genre into itself. Gardens are used as metaphor and setting, place and non-place, and as a subject for developing themes on the relationship between man and nature. The location of this exhibition in a gallery space that itself is contained in a large glass atrium, suggests one element of garden vocabulary; the greenhouse or glasshouse, elements of which go back to the Roman period. The development of glass covered Atriums in contemporary building design have allowed gardens to be incorporated into interior spaces. For the first 10 years of this Atrium, a small grove of California Olive Trees occupied the space where the gallery is now located, planted in tree pits in the concrete floor.
Dadashzadeh and Hardy’s exhibition abstracts the physical components of gardens - plants, walls and enclosures, paved surfaces, water and architectural elements - and establishes a series of linked tableaus referencing historical, personal and imaginary garden spaces. Intense colour, irregular, organic shapes and surprising surfaces are assembled into a series of works that connect to historical and culturally varied elements of garden design; from Persian walled gardens and the romance of the ruin, to contemporary ideas of the garden as a set design of abstract forms and textured surfaces. This installation reminds us that a garden is not simply nature, but rather a human construction incorporating forms and materials from natural landscapes, arranged in both personal and culturally-determined ways, that in their essence provide fundamentally meaningful relationships with the natural world.”