No matter where people go, or where they must flee to, so many will turn to nature for comfort and refuge – especially when there are no other options. While folks in the modern world seem to be increasingly turning to their phones and social media for some semblance of that comfort, when the lights go out and your wired world goes dark, family and nature are our default comfort spaces to turn to. Perhaps nowhere can this natural instinct towards nature be seen more than within refugee camps, where people suddenly no longer have those creature comforts of home, or the option of turning towards Netflix or Facebook or the like to find some sort of modern comfort.
The above video is a fascinating look into how refugees in northern Iraq have managed to create their own calming green spaces within an otherwise unsettled environment. The very act of shining a light on these spaces and their creation serves to truly underscore the humanity of the people having to flee and live in these camps. And to further highlight the refugee’s efforts to carve out their own gardens amidst such troubling and tough conditions, the Lemon Tree Trust created a landscape for this year’s Chelsea Flower Show that was inspired by the resiliency of the refugees in these camps. You may find more photos of the garden by clicking here.
We wrote about the work of street artist YZ a semi-long while back when she did an installation in the crumbling former nightclub Les Bains in Paris before the whole building was renovated and made sleek and glossy in the way that so much is in our cities of now. What drew us to her work in the first place was its haunting quality, one that was decidedly without sound but somehow resonant at the same time, that spoke to the inevitability of cities crumbling, decaying, and changing, that temporarily froze that space in time before it became something else – something probably altogether less nuanced and textured than what it had been.
In between now and then her career has taken off exponentially, and she was recently chosen to paint the newest version of the French Marianne, which, for the uninitiated, is a national symbol of the French Republic and who personifies both liberty and reason. The image of the Marianne has indeed evolved over the years, and this time is no exception, as now she appears on the entire side of an apartment building in Toulon. Click on the video above to watch the project unfold.
A photo of Vacant Lands 1 in San Francisco’s Presidio
Here are the photos from the first Vacant Lands installation, installed in San Francisco’s Presidio as part of the Architecture as Pedestal Exhibition. Thank you to everyone who came by, asked questions, looked, explored, observed. We came up with the idea for the project in 2014, so it’s been a long road from conception to installation, and thus the support and interest were greatly appreciated. Naturally we already have our eyes and mind on the next installation, what it will look like, where it will be, and how you will be able to explore it. Stay tuned. For more info, you may click HERE.
We are spectacularly thrilled to announce that we will be doing our first Vacant Lands installation right here in San Francisco. The installation will be featured as part of the Architecture as Pedestal exhibition, which will be held on October 29 and 30 in the Presidio. To see a video of the site with the glorious fog rolling in, you may visit our Instagram page HERE.