e. bjedov-stanković


e. bjedov-stanković

closing the garden (an archive)

2022 - ongoing

Closing the Garden exists briefly as an archive before it becomes compost. With a work that will ultimately be re-introduced into the cycle of decomposition, I wanted to challenge the idea of archiving – to subvert its principles of preservation and maintenance, the effort to stop the passage of time from reclaiming materials. This archive isn’t for us, the human viewers; rather, it’s an archive for the soil.

In the act of closing the garden, we have an opportunity to engage in a generative grief that accompanies the end of a growing season – the pulling out of annual plants, putting perennials to bed, the smell of deep soils and mycorrhizal fungi that come up with the roots. The grief comes from the end of a fruitful, seasonal relationship. It’s generative because it’s part of a cycle and the closing of the garden is necessary to nurture our relationship with the earth.

Building on ideas of material inquiry and memory, the paper in this work was made from various plants gathered from my family gardens, largely, Solomon’s Seal. Processing plants that I’ve cultivated a relationship with over many years allowed for space to question the nature of extraction and transformation, which is the ultimate question of this ongoing project.

First Iteration (2022)

materials: handmade paper (Solomon’s Seal, raštika cabbage, comfrey, abaca, dried maple), natural dye (madder root), beeswax, wasp nest, ceramic, soil, cotton, wood. 

photos by Sarah Bertrand-Hamel, 2022

closing the garden as part of  Cathemeral Observances, VAV Gallery, Montreal QC