The designers of this garden decided to take the exact opposite of well-being and beneficial plants that are attributed to the garden. They offer us an encounter with the “soul” of an imaginary character, Mr Vilain, through the “body” of his garden.
Not everything is rosy for Mr Vilain. Moreover, he is often in a foul mood. He has moments of nostalgia, but also sometimes likes to be a practical joker and play with words. The various states of his soul inevitably show through in his garden, which admirably translates expressions such as: “You’re getting on my goat”, “Don’t push it!”, “I’ve got worries”, “To tell fibs”, “It’s none of your business”.
With a purpose that is both educational and attractive for a wide range of people, the garden demonstrates through this imaginary world, that everything that seems bad, dirty or even too smelly (such as compost, manure heaps or broken tiles) can be an ideal medium for a plant to flourish.
Mr Vilain deliberately wanted to grow the ugly plants from our gardens to give them back a soul. He takes great care to guide his bindweed (convolvulus) over the support. He collects weeds, sets up a makeshift bench in his garden’s brambles (he is a practical joker).
The human body digests, it is a natural cycle. The “body” of the garden produces the same cycle. If Mr Vilain gardens with the “body” of his garden, it is to give it a “soul”.
This garden offers you a walk which will give life, “body and soul”, to Mr Vilain’s humour, teasings and changing moods.
Mr Vilain has selected a range of jokey and odorous plants that sting, that scratch, that appeal to our body and give the garden back all its soul.
Arno Denis is a set designer. His career has followed a far from traditional path. Thanks to solid training at the École Boulle, which he then furthered with a Landscape Architect’s diploma at the National Higher Institute for Landscape in Versailles, he has been able to diversify his skills and refine the way he looks at the world and decoration in particular. Initially he was a sculptor, then an assistant film set designer and he has been involved in numerous projects. First of all he earned his spurs in workshops for Theatre and Opera, working for set designers such as: Niki Rieti, Ezio Frigerio, and Bob Wilson as well, then in films, including with film set designers such as: Thierry Flamand, Aline Boneto, Olivier Raoux, Guy-Claude François, and Michel Barthelemy. He has also worked on numerous commercials as a sculptor, layout artist, property man and set designer. He has been involved in the making of sets for films such as “Père et fils” [Father and Sons] by Michel Boujenah, “Marie-Antoinette” by Sofia Coppola, “Astérix aux Jeux Olympiques” [Asterix at the Olympic Games] by Thomas Langmann, “Arthur et les Minimoïs” [Arthur and the Minimoys] by Luc Besson, “Aurore” by Niels Tavernier, “Arsène Lupin” [Adventures of Arsene Lupin] by Jean-Paul Salomé, “Iznogoud” by Patrick Braoudé, “Les rivières pourpres 2” [Crimson Rivers 2] by Olivier Dahan, “Imposture” by Patrick Bouchité, “RRRRrrr” by the “Robins des bois” and Alain Chabat, “Blueberry” by Jan Kounen, “Le pacte des loups” [Brotherhood of the Wolf] by Christophe Gans, “Le petit Poucet” [Tom Thumb] by Olivier Dahan. More recently he was first assistant set designer for the latest Radu Mihaileanu film, “Le Concert” [The Concert], and the short film by Mélanie Laurent, “À ses pieds”, within the framework of the “X-plicit Films” project broadcast by Canal+.
Pauline Robiliard is a government-approved landscape architect. She was born in 1985 and took her suitcase along to Rheims, where she did a science and industrial technology baccalaureate in Applied Arts, to Lyons, where she did a space design BTS [advanced vocational qualification] and to the “Ecole Nationale Supérieure du Paysage” [National Higher Institute for Landscape] in Versailles. She took her rucksack along to the Dominique Perrault Agency, the TNplus Agency, the botanical garden of the “Parc de la tête d'or” in Lyons... She put up her tent in Stavanger (Norway), in Köpenick (Berlin, Germany), in Madrid (Spain), in Dunkirk (France), in Noroieni (Romania), at the Villa Romana (Florence, Italy), in Guangzhou (China)… She left her heart at the Le Balto and Précarré practices: artistic landscape architecture practices (Le Havre, Berlin)… She took her pencil along to Cologne (Germany) for the storyboard of a short film, for the blank pages of a children’s story by the author Philippe Muller, and for some garden projects for individual private clients.
Xavier Coquelet is a government-approved landscape architect. He works as a project manager and has joint responsibility for the public spaces project management section of the INterland Agency in Lyons. At the same time, he is carrying out an exploratory and participative process through his “Atelier 710” Association, regarding the setting up of work sites and events based around the landscape.