Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Creating dappled light from nothing, to en-chant shady places

Hanging basket competition, Hibiya Flower and garden show 1st Nov 2008

When I look at this photo, something special happens, every time. Years of enchanted dappled moments echo, and for some reason, they are always associated with dreamy outdoor naps. Specifically, the delicious half-conscious moments, with the breezes and the sunbeams dancing over you, moments that are sweetly tormenting. Sleep is delicious, awake is delicious, so you cannot give yourself totally to either.
French Provincial river, primary school garden, back yard plum tree, Japanese summer mountain cool with blue hydrangeas...

But they have all been conjured up with trickery, because this leaf is MIMICKING dapples. It drew them on itself, like a kind of reverse freckling. To make it more convincing, it has given itself sparsely lit areas, intensely-lit areas. The overhead tree filtering the light is Imaginary.

Like love in a dark place, these plants generate this marvelous 'light' on their own. If breeders in Australia could replace the boring, regular dappled plants with these, the South-Facing (dark) balcony gardens would be transformed, enlivened. No sunlight, no electricity required.

This charming randomness makes me think of the lighting design above Melbourne's Federation square.
Federation Square photo by Tzu-yen Wang, a Taiwanese student in Melbourne

Similarly uneven, like clusters of stars in an outback sky, these lights always makes me proud to be a casual, asymmetrical, organically-arisen-not-factory-made Australian.

Here are more photographs taken at the show, the Hibiya flower and garden show, a hanging basket competition open to everyone. Look at the care taken in the choosing of leaf colors.

In the 12th Century Japan as depicted by novelist Murasaki Shikibu, a Courtier would fall in love with a woman by a mere glimpse of her sleeves - the sensitivity she displayed in her delicate selection of layered colors was a promise of her receptiveness to pleasures to come.
Those deftly-chosen colors and patterns, I wonder if they have any resemblance to these suburban hanging baskets, 800 years later.


Tatyana said...

What an interesting post! I love that first picture. Thanks!

Lynn Beaton said...

Hi Cecilia - I'm browsing around here on your sites, getting ideas for mine - I have a great burst of energy from yesterdays workshop - so many ideas for blogs to get going on.
Thanks again and cheers