“Winter Gardens”

Winter Gardens

Winter Gardens


I always find it more interesting to travel in times far from the peak of tourist season. In these times, scenes ask to be photographed in a completely different manner from they are seen in summer. In the winter, gardens are abandoned by all but the most devout of caretakers. In these crafted spaces in sleepy hibernation, faithful gardeners place heavy blankets upon the most precious of garden sculptures in order to protect them from the harshness of winter.

During a visit to the spectacular Versailles in March, I was greeted by these veiled sculptures, and at first I found them funny. I didn’t have to see what was underneath to guess what was hidden by the heavy cloths: classical nudes or ornate vases. You’d expect to see that. But something in me became attracted to their veiled quality. The heavy cloths became more interesting by the form given them from underneath, and I began to photograph them. They became sculptures in their own right — yet unnoticed and unvisited. They became accidental artworks, created by unknowing gardeners under an influence of Christo.

The more I photographed, the less I was interested in the original statues. I began to seek out winter gardens. They became a monument of winter and an annual exhibit on the hopeful expectation of spring.

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