Rosetta Sarah Elkin

Tiny Taxonomy . Jardins de Métis

source: reford gardens . photos: Louise Tanguay . Robert Baronet . Rosetta Sarah Elkin

“Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.” Henry David Thoreau.

Paradise is a cultural construct which often reflects the collective values of a people or religious group. As such, ideas about paradise are highly specific and underscore a set of common experiences and perspectives which are not universally applicable. What is universal about notions of paradise is that they often represent an idealization of nature. Furthermore, these ide­alizations (often deployed as gardens) tend to depict entire ecosystems (the grandeur of nature), focusing on vistas, sightlines, and compositions rather than then the individual players in the system.

‘Tiny Taxonomy’ attempts to highlight the beauty and frailty of paradise’s most inconspicuous and often ignored players: the plants of the forest floor. By providing a partial inventory of some of the smallest operators of the forest ecosystem and by elevating these species from their traditional posi­tion at the forest floor (underfoot), it is hoped that their highly delicate and intricate nature will be made evident to visitors of the garden. Tiny unpacks and re-presents the garden, inviting the visitor to consider the beauty of individual species.

Sponsor: Pépinière Charlevoix
Architect: Rosetta Sarah Elkin
Years of exhibition: 2010, 2011

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