Walking through the Montreal Botanical Garden on a sunny summer day is often a glorious experience, but walking through this summer will be out of this world. This June, Mosaïcultures Internationales Montréal horticultural sculpture competition takes root in Montreal, and with it some of the biggest and best displays of art made entirely of plant life…
Considered the world’s most prestigious competition of horticultural art, Mosaïcultures Internationales Montréal, at last returns after 10 years (having stopped to wow crowds in Shanghai and Hamamatsu) to where it was born in 2000. From June 22 to September 29, the competition will see experts create two- and three-dimensional living artworks made of a variety of plants, blending sculpture, colour theory, horticulture and knowledge of the environment.
For this year’s edition, Mosaïcultures Internationales Montréal teamed up with the Montreal Botanical Garden, the third largest of its kind in the world, finding plenty of fertile ground for creativity at the Garden – two whole kilometres of it, filled with over three million plants. The Botanical Garden will act as outdoor art studio to two hundred experts in the art of mosaiculture, from Canada, Belgium, China, South Korea, Spain, the United States, France, Japan, Mexico, Turkey and across Africa.
Teams will create over 40 plant-life sculptures, some big enough to walk through. Each work will tie into this year’s biodiversity-focused theme – Land of Hope – while reflecting the maker’s nationality and culture. It’s a theme that suits both the art form and today’s social context, touching on “the interdependence of man and nature, positive actions for the environment, endangered or at-risk species or ecosystems, nature in the city, the beauty and fragility of life on earth and peace as the key to planetary survival.”
One of the spectacular horticultural arrangements already previewed in maquette form is a masterwork called The Tree of Birds, depicting 60 different bird species and endangered amphibians. Other planned sculptures can be imagined from their thematically inspired titles: Mother Earth (Patchamama for the indigenous peoples of the Andes), The Man Who Planted Trees, The Forest Spirits. Also in the spirit of this year’s theme and the general inclination of the Space for Life, which includes the Botanical Gardens along with the close-by Biodome, Insectarium and Planetarium, the Mosaïcultures Internationales Montréal program offers eco-friendly educational activities for all ages, turning a stroll through the gardens into a learning experience for life.
Mosaïcultures Internationales Montréal 2013, June 22 to September 29, 2013