After New York and Columbus (and chancing upon early works on display at the Hunter Museum of Art in Chattanooga), I could spot a Chihuly a mile away, especially when inside a botanical garden. Even so, I had to admit the water features encapsulating Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Chihulys enlivens the glass further.
I’m not here to talk Chilhuly though. Rather, Atlanta Botanical Garden has partnered again with Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal in 2018 to mount a new iteration (and encore in 2019) of the fantastical living plant sculpture display entitled Imaginary Worlds — and I just happened to be in town.
The original exhibit from 2013 and 2014 featured the 22 feet tall Earth Goddess as well as the adorable Shaggy Dog, both of which have since become permanent installations.
The “new’ Imaginary Worlds: Once Upon a Time feature a Dragon made of more than 24,000 individual plants. It’s so much more impressive up close in person.
Rip Van Winkle is here too.
And the Mermaid.
Not to be confused with topiary sculptures, mosaiculture is the horticultural art of creating giant sculptures using thousands of annual bedding plants to carpet steel armature forms. You can see in the photo below the underlying wire framing for Pegasus.
The same frame can be recast in different roles for differing iterations of the exhibit as a simple change of the plant carpeting used can emote drastically disparate interpretations.
One of my favorite aspects of Imaginary Worlds is seeing the sculptures evolve over the course of the exhibit from Spring into Fall as the individual plants that make up the carpet covering grows and matures.
This transformation can be seen in full force in the images of the camel below – the power and beauty of nature.
The encore Imaginary Worlds: Alice in Wonderland this year casts a new set of characters, including all the Queen’s Men, the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, and of course Alice (you’ll have to locate her yourself inside the garden!).