A space that surrounds us encloses us and presents before us, the sky and firmament as a ceiling and the earth as a ground. An outdoor room.
An enclosure for man that expresses and talks about its way of looking and its connection with life in a twofold way: in its relation with the immediate physical environment and in an ample sense with the background of human culture and its changing relationship with nature. The garden is Art and Nature at once.
A painting, a sculpture, poetry or a partiture can be representations of space, while Architecture, Dance and the art of the Garden, develop their composition in real space or making use of it. In this “real” space, that is shared with our own body, a dialogue is produced in the case of the art of the garden, between man (natura naturans) as subject and nature (natura naturata) as living object. This dialogue creates a “symbolic place” that alters the quality of the space. In a way we could say it has become a stage set or an “arena” where action takes place.
If art in general is the manifestation of the search of that “unknown” that we carry within ourselves, the garden is a seed left on the ground and in a way abandoned to its own chance, as it is larger than us and surpasses a human generation. As opposed to Architecture, that was defined by Goethe as “frozen music”, the garden is “live music” as the rhythm of nature and the seasons acts on it, together with the life of the elements incorporated , plus their maintenance by man.
We could also make an analogy with an “expanded sculpture” that grows and invades space, to create within it positive and negative forms. If traditionally in sculpture space dominates over mass, modelling it and fixing it in the concrete and fixed limits of the object, the garden would be like a sculpture where the masses and the spaces are in a relationship of equalness and mutual relationship. Again, man can enter and wander through this composition, by means of an itinerary, creating with its movement, different visual relationships with the horizon line, as if they were paintings or vistas. It becomes then an experience both Physical and Spiritual, as opposed to spaces represented in paintings that are always something external to us and unmoveable, except by suggestion.
A garden is a bench where we look at time developing itself.