PHYLLIS ODESSEY

a beauty previously unknown

4560483_zWho buys a coffee table book anymore?  Not me. But! There is always a but.  I justified the purchase of Daniel Ost, easily.  I am not a rock star, ambassador, Shiekh, or member of the royal family, The only way to get up close and personal with Ost’s craft, was to buy the book.  The New York Times called his work “breathing architecture.”  Calling Ost a  floral sculptor doesn’t capture his art.

orange-pear-shape

A mysterious sculpture with saffron-colored buds of the empress tree, Leucobryum glaucum.

I realize the gardeners who read this blog, might object to Ost’s extreme manipulation of the natural world and its acute wastefulness. I could argue that all cut flowers squander resources.

red-shape

Sculpture of red cornus rests in the open-air theater of Gana Art Gallery, Seoul, South Korera

petals

A canal leading to the Museum of Islamic Art filled with thousands of rose petals, a reference to the perfumes and colors of the Middle East.

pumpkin-stone-wall-2

pumpkin-stone-wall-1

Pumpkins from the garden of the late EU commissioner Karel Van Miert form a drystone wall.

I aim for three things in a garden:  sustainability, biodiversity and beauty.  Ost has another objective.

“Working with leaves or flowers need not result in a copy or reproduction of nature.  That is mere deception and will result in failure.  You cannot improve on nature.  If you realize that, and you still assert the right to remove flowers and plants form nature, but then don’t succeed in doing something at least equivalent, you are better off letting everything grow where it is.  My wish is to make something with these vegetable materials that did not exist before, a beauty previously unknown.”
Daniel Ost

landfill-photo

Art on the Landfill offers, a visual, three-dimensional sort of poetry: a dance of dandelions and rocks made of conifer needles.

balls

A vegetal interpretation of Maurice Ravel’s Bolero at the landfill of Sint-Niklaas features swelling clay hills and dancing leek flowers.

medieval

A floating carpet of flowers planted with eleven thousand verbenas is surrounded by old laurel plants on the inner courtyard of the medieval belry.

bridge

A ceramic bridge created by the artist Lebuin D’Haese along the river Zenne in Belgium is decorated with fruits of Dischidia pectinoides ( Ant plant/ Kangaroo Pocket – is part of milkweed family)

pine

An overturned branch with several little roses.

If life is but a passage,
At least let’s sow flowers on it.
-Michel de Montaigne

 

 

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