2024 Theme – The Ecology of Possibility
Celebrations are in order: in 2024, the International Garden Festival turns 25! While it is certainly something to celebrate, hitting this milestone is also an invitation to reflect on our journey thus far and to look to the future. So, what was the premise for the Festival, the first edition of which was held at the turn of the millennium? What issues and themes have been addressed since then? How have our concerns and ideologies evolved? And what kind of future do we envision for the gardens? Read more
Established in the year 2000, the International Garden Festival has always been heavily committed to the exploration and renewal of the art of the garden. The inaugural edition showcased eight original creations that placed the nature-culture dialectic at the forefront.
Although the Festival still considers the hows and the whys of the contemporary garden, the concepts addressed, and the perspectives employed have changed. Over the past 25 years, our theoretical outlook on various issues has shifted, our critical vocabulary has diversified, and now more than ever, we feel the urgency to act in the face of accelerating climate change. The basic dichotomy of nature versus culture now seems antiquated; contemporary anthropology having demonstrated that humankind’s understanding of the natural universe falls within a relational dynamic. Following this rationale, the concepts of nature and culture cannot be compared, as the former is invariably perceived through the latter.
It seems to us that the garden today (be it private or public) has a social responsibility. Sustainable, it preserves and supports biodiversity. Plants are rigorously selected after considering the specific needs and behaviours of each species and how they interact. The characteristics of the site to be developed and their evolution over the seasons are also carefully studied.
In light of these ideologies and present circumstances, is the future of the garden a united one? Is it based on a relational, cross-disciplinary approach?
We’d like to wager that the future of the garden will be forged from genuine dialogue with the living.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR | ÈVE DE GARIE-LAMANQUE