“The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice. ‘Who are YOU?’ said the Caterpillar.” 1
If ever there was a delirious, exuberant and hallucinatory world, it is the one created by Lewis Carroll. Through the Looking-glass lies a realm where non-sense rules, a land peopled by the strangest characters… And what if we follow Alice, along an overcast road through the smoke-filled forest? Into an almost monochrome bluish grey imbued with the heady scent of a Cider Gum tree – is it madness that awaits us? Or is the famous caterpillar really there? Proudly perched on his mushroom, inhaling these ideas that have neither head nor tail to them and which lead us into unreason.
Vaporous and temperamental, but enigmatic and dreamlike too, prickly old Absolem steers his way between semantic ramblings and deliria. Between dream and reality, this strange insect with his ephemeral morphology reigns in this garden. And for those who go through the looking-glass, the magical metamorphosis is revealed on the far side of his wispy decoration…
1 From “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, Lewis Carroll, 1869
Jérôme HOUADEC, scenographic artist and Christian HOUADEC, landscape architect
Jérôme Houadec (artist, scenographer, graphic artist and applied arts teacher), is a designer at the “Effets Secondaires” visual creation studio. He has collaborated with his father Christian Houadec (landscape craftsman) for the second time at Chaumont-sur-Loire, after the imaginary black-and-white garden “Imaginoir” in 2006. A graphic artist by training, he attaches great importance to the visual worlds he creates, whether for a poster advertising cultural festivals (“Les Accroche Cœurs”, the Anjou Festival, etc.) or for exhibition scenography (“Georges Evano” at the Château of the Dukes of Brittany, “Les Dobrés Armateurs d'Arts” at the Loire-Atlantique Départemental Archives, “Images d'Alice” at the Champs Libres in Rennes, etc.). This recent creation, “The Smoke Blue Garden”, devotes almost 400 m² to evocation of the world of Lewis Carroll, its design inspired by the character of the Blue Caterpillar in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. Jérôme Houadec is also the founder and educational director of the Atelier d'Arts Appliqués in Angers, a graduate school of applied arts focusing on post-baccalaureate training of creators and designers in visual communication. He collaborates with his father Christian Houadec on projects connected with plant life, including the creation and placement of a signposting system in Parc Desjardins in Angers, with the help of a team of schoolchildren, and redefinition of the Pépinières Minier showroom in Beaufort-en-Vallée. A landscape craftsman by trade, he has been carrying out commissions for creation and maintenance of green spaces and gardens for almost to 20 years, along with large-scale pruning missions. His wide knowledge of plant life stands him in good stead in his design work.
A family team, borne along by its rigorous approach and attention to detail – two skills that complement one another.