the twilight garden ~ scanner art

I discovered this garden by accident, after catching a glimpse of it through a small window. This window is located in the Hermitage museum and it’s more than 400 years old. It looks like a still life by the dutch artist Ambrosius Bosschaert dating back to the 17 century. Bright and elegant flowers triumph over the dark background. In that moment I realised that I’d love to plant such a garden myself, but i didn't know for sure how I'd do it.

The second time the twilight garden showed itself to me was among photograms by avantguard artists El Lissitsky and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. Their pictures were captured on extremely sensitive paper without the use of a photo camera. The objects appear to be emerging from the perfect blackness, just how the flowers hide in my twilight garden and only appear in the torchlight.

The third time the garden came to my mind when I was trying to figure out what zeitgeist was like — the spirit of the period of time I live in. I was in search of the technique that would help me develop, modify and express the idea and aesthetics conceived in the 17 century in some contemporary way. I found such a way.

the visual key of zeitgeist that inspired me

Scanners are a commonly used office gadget for making digital copies of papers and books and I saw its huge potential laying in the field of artistic experiments. Compared to a digital camera, the scanner is very intimate, the lens on the scanner closely and gently passes over the subject with only a thin piece of glass between the two. It doesn't linger, staring from a distance.

Once I had made the first scans with summer flowers, my garden started to grow. I found its echoes in the bouquet that gardeners were selling on the streets, in the wild flowers, in the bouquets I was given. After visiting Valaam monastery and its apple garden, my garden gained some apples, later came sweet peas, corn and much more….

During the few years that I’ve been working on this project, my twilight garden has become full of cosy secrets. Flowers are still blooming, fruits and veggies are mellowing, even though I’ve never seen any ray of sunshine here. Only twilight.