Linda Huey’s Dark Garden warns against a somber future. Dark fairies and decrepit gnomes peer out between the stems of gigantic plants, and organic forms sprout from beds of fossilized junk. The garden shows us the dire path of a society that is more concerned with consumer goods than the environment. It reflects the consequences of disposable culture and pollution.
Huey approaches this message in a subtle way that requires investigation. At first glance, the towering plant forms loom from their planters, and it really feels like a walk in a fantasy garden, but when looking closer, the flora reveals lengths of rebar and nails mixed in with the clay. The rebar become their stems and the nails their seeds. There are impressions of computer parts and junk in the surface of the clay. Each plant bears some mark of industry. In the center of the exhibit, a large white sphere seems to hover like a planet or moon. Upon looking closer, the sphere seems to be composed of trash. Perhaps it is a warning of what our own planet could become: a lifeless orb of refuse.
Dark Garden juxtaposes nature with manmade objects. Clay is a material that associated with the earth, while metal element typically reference progress and industry. Huey is very interested in the possibilities of firing metal parts directly into the clay. The result of this process is cracking in the surface of clay. Huey uses these cracks to further convey decay in her Dark Garden. [...]
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website