Building walls, constructing fences, keeping out aliens, talking about macho swagger these are topics usually confined to the political sphere. Language is not a topic of restoration ecology conferences. Paddy Woodworth was the first speaker at the NYBG Invasive Species Summit on Friday, November 3. He spent most of his time talking about “minding our language.” Demonizing plants, glamourizing degradation, focusing on “alien” plants, migration, non-native, has implications. “Conservation is about human beings.” Woodworth brought a unique perspective to the […]
I asked a friend: “What was your takeaway from the Arabella Lennox-Boyd lecture?” “She works for really rich people.” With a few exceptions, the projects Lennox-Boyd showed were grand estates on huge pieces of property. One such long-term project is Eaton Hall, the seat of the Duke of Westminster, an 85 acre property with herbaceous borders over 296 ft. long and a 150 page maintenance guide for the gardeners penned by Lennox-Boyd. Lennox-Boyd began her lecture with her childhood home, Palazzo Parisi, 60 […]
Community is the word of the moment. It’s almost impossible to listen to a broadcast, read an article or watch TV without the word community being mentioned. This use or over use of the word community is also the word du jour of horticulturists. Cassian Schmidt was the speaker last night at the annual Andrew Carnegie Distinguished Lecture Series sponsored by the New York Botanical Garden. Schmidt is a master of the matrix style of plant communities. I heard Cassian […]
Primitive moths appeared 195 million years ago. Since then, more than 150,000 species of moths have evolved in diverse colors, shapes and sizes. At 75, Emmet Gowin has been photographing all kinds of subjects for 50 years. For the past 15 years, he has traveled to Central and South America 40 times, spent hundreds of hours at institutions looking at moth specimens and photographed 1000 moth species. Gowin spoke about his work photographing moths Wednesday night at the New York Public Library. […]
When was the last time you heard a landscape architect say “I don’t do residential. I don’t do suburban. I work in degraded urban spaces.” Signe Nielsen opened her talk entitled “Optimistic Landscapes” for the NYBG Landscape Design Portfolio Series with that opening salvo. Nielsen spoke about 3 projects: Hunts Point Landing, The Lowline and Pier 55. If you have ever gone to the Hunts Point Market; you know it’s hard to navigate, ugly and on first glance has no livable space. […]
Once it was the property of a count who furnished candles to the Vatican; once it was the strategic headquarters of Garibaldi’s last stand against the French; finally it was gifted to the American Academy in Rome by Clara Jessup Heyland in 1909. The Villa Aurelia is large, romantic, diverse, historic and a hop, skip and a jump from AAR. I was lucky enough to go on a garden tour with Alessandra Vinciguerra, Bass Superintendent of Gardens at the American […]
I would usually write about the photography on the walls, but not this time. I went to the Alain Willaume exhibition at FIAF because I had never heard of Alain Willaume. The photos are both weird and engaging. They made me feel slightly uncomfortable. It’s hard to hang a show in a small gallery space like the Alliance Francaise in New York. This exhibition promised “an immersive installation” and it delivered. François Hébel is the curator of the gallery. I wanted to talk […]
People ask me what’s like at the American Academy in Rome (AAR). I hope this photo blog gives the reader some idea of the physical environment that makes AAR special. Although the building and its grounds at the Academy are amazing. The most important part of being at AAR is the time to work, meet other artists and writers and explore the never-ending layers that make up Rome.