11. Un promenoir infini
published at 12/03/2018
Thought and landscape often go hand in hand, and, as Augustin Berque says, “It is clear that landscape also calls for a particular way of thinking and even inspires certain ideas.”
This garden invites visitors to make their way along a path of thought, which here takes the form of the mathematical symbol for infinity… or might it be for wisdom, eternity and universal knowledge?
Turn and turn about, as they advance around this recumbent “8” with neither beginning nor end, walkers’ minds are led to entertain celestial thoughts guided by plants whose apical shapes reach towards sky and sun, and inner thoughts symbolised by plants creeping between the rocks. The mise en scène is organised around two contrasting and complementary forms: the hollow and the full, embankment and ditch.
On the edge of the garden, the eye is caught by a mound upon which aerial tiers of flowers and grasses play lightly with the passing breeze. The mound is topped by a majestic vine plant, its tendrils spiralling ever upwards. Contemplating this vertical composition, thoughts themselves become light, positive, turned towards the infinite space of the skies above.
Set in the second loop of the walkway, a mineral garden composed of crushed rocks surrounds a crater representing the magma of the earth’s crust and whose concavity encourages introspection, perhaps even withdrawal from the outside world.
Just as our thoughts vary depending on our moods and influences of the moment, this Promenoir infini (Infinite Walkway) takes us on a journey without end, between gloom and light, between the earth’s entrails and the sky.
Agnès EMONET, landscaper/artistic director, Laurence VINCENT-PICHARD, winemaker, and Agathe PICHARD, photographer/videographer/visual artist
"Born in Anjou and raised on cultural references by widely travelled parents, I grew up with the wish to depict the world around me in images. A photographer since my teens, documenting my everyday life and my travels, I’ve made a career out of producing and directing films for television, institutions and events. My work is essentially cross-media, from photography to onsite installation via video; I reflect on humankind’s relationship with its environment from a social and geographical viewpoint, whether it be urban or rural, artificial or natural, western or eastern, vegetable or mineral, civilised or wild… I live between sand and bitumen, between Paris and the Médoc countryside, between lake and Ocean, between nature and culture, between crowd and solitude.”
"I was born in Saint-Etienne and grew up between Paris and Brussels. I returned to my native city and Lyon to study at the School of Fine Arts there, graduating in 1986. I returned to Paris and worked as artistic director for various large advertising agencies. After 20 years in advertising, I took a break to devote myself to working with my hands, a choice that led to a Certificate of Professional Aptitude (CAP) in cabinetmaking. I went back to working as an artistic director for a while and, with the digital revolution in full swing, worked on the graphics of a wide range of communication campaigns. By 2014, the call of the wild had finally become so strong that I decided to devote my time, talents and energy to landscape and nature. In 2016, I was awarded a degree in Garden Design and Creation in the Landscape following 2 years of study in the Versailles National Higher School of Landscape’s Continuous Training programme. I am now a fully-fledged landscaper and gardener.”
“I grew up in Saumur, on the banks of the Loire, in a family with a love of beautiful gardens. After studying literature, travelling a good deal and leading a full life as a housewife, I took myself and my husband off in a new direction and became a winegrower in my native region, Anjou. We turned our Estate into an organic farm, introducing biodynamic farming methods this year as they show greater respect for nature and our fellow human beings. In parallel, I set myself to transforming the landscape around our property into a flower and vegetable garden, applying the same principles as for the vineyard – i.e. respect for soil, seasons and biodiversity. For me, gardening is an endless source of knowledge, encounters with nature and, above all, sharing.”