The Garden of Delight is an exhibition in public space commissioned by the Netherlands Embassy in Budapest. Throughout July, 25 Citylight posters will present the work of Dutch artists, photographers and designers at 25 tram stops (tram lines 47-49) in the centre of Budapest. Each of them has their own particular fascination with flowers. Being displayed at tram stops, the exhibition can also also be viewed in its entirety on a dedicated website.
Colourful fields of tulips, greenhouses, flower markets, flower bulbs, flower growing, flower shows, the world’s largest flower auction - in short, flowers are one of the main symbols of the Netherlands. From a global perspective, the country is the home of flowers, culturally, economically and historically. Flowers are also an integral part of everyday life in the Netherlands, however the bouquet in its vase is not just an iconographic or historical symbol. The works presented here transcend this clichéd connotation, but also show that flowers are an eternal inspiration for art.
The rich diversity of the images, linked by the tram line in their everyday urban setting, offer the experience of an imaginary garden walk: the proximity of the garden creates an inner peace and beauty. It is both calming and energising, healing, awakening understanding and it allows us to experience the cyclical movement of life and death. The flower is one of the most expressive symbols of human life and a vehicle for expressing emotions through its complex metaphorical symbolism. Celebration, happiness,
love, death and their relationship to grief are all expressed with flowers. Perhaps the past period, when we were enforced to spend a lot of time time indoors, has made us more aware than ever that nature is essential, not only to our survival but also to our general well-being.
In the Netherlands, the experience of the beauty of flowers and their metaphorical meaning has always been inextricably linked to art and visual culture. As this exhibition reflects, contemporary artists, photographers and designers are also inspired by the lush richness and symbolism of flowers. The spectrum is broad, from still lifes that evoke objects of desire and remind us of their transience and fragility, to conceptual works. The flower is applied as a means of expressing the specific problems of the medium. However, whether represented in images, objects or installations, the aesthetic appearance
is often deceptive. In many cases the works contain an underlying message that draws attention to environmental, provocative issues and sustainability. The concepts also include the suggestion of alternative approaches and encourage the use of innovative techniques and sustainable materials based on the unique properties of flowers and plants.
The Garden of Delight is a visual spectacle, a rich collection of authentic approaches by influential creators who reflect, in a variety of disciplines, on the richness of the world of flowers and plants and the relationship between man and nature.
Curator: Claudia Küssel