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Russian Garden Portrays the Triumph of Art Over Adversity

Home / Show Gardens / Russian Garden Portrays the Triumph of Art Over Adversity

RussianMind 28/06/2012

The Friends of the State Russian Museum of St Petersburg are sponsoring a spectacular show garden at the world’s largest flower show at Hampton Court Palace (July 2nd– 8th). The museum, which houses the world’s largest collection of Russian art, has commissioned an English landscape design company to create the garden. The museum’s directors say the Twig Group, based in Goudhurst, Kent – “the Garden of England” – have created an inspirational garden that will introduce British visitors to the beauty and splendour of St Petersburg. Designer Heather Appleton says she hopes the garden reflects how throughout Russia’s turbulent history,  its art has survived, evolved and thrives today.

russian-garden-concept-mainThrough a giant picture frame and under a sparkling chandelier, visitors enter a representation of the imperial city of St Petersburg, known as the Venice of the North because of its islands, bridges and canals.

The garden is partially bordered by a moat and is abundant with trees, container plants and topiary cupolas that mimic the St Petersburg skyline.

Striking is designer Heather Appleton’s interpretation of work by Russian avant-garde artist Kazimir Malevich: a black rectangular wall and circular carpeted seating area imitate two of his early 20th Century paintings, Black Square and Black Circle.  Also featured are Russian doll sculptures, painted in a style inspired by Malevich. The garden is edged with rustic grasses, symbolic of the St Petersburg city-dwellers’ weekend exodus to their rural dachas.

Emerging from the ground you will see the head of a statue, a reference to the Siege of Leningrad (1941-44), when monuments in the Summer Garden were buried for their protection. The garden encapsulates the essence of St Petersburg’s history as well as representing the Russian Museum’s artefacts and its grand buildings, such as the Stroganov, Marble and Michailovsky Palaces.

The Russian Museum Garden stands as a living invitation to visit the stunning city of St Petersburg, Russia’s former capital and home to the annual St Petersburg International Flower Festival. In 2013 the festival, whose patron is HRH Princess Michael of Kent, will celebrate British creativity and have as its theme, the English Garden.

Twig’s designer Heather Appleton said: “It is a huge privilege to create a show garden sponsored by one of the world’s greatest museums located in one of the world’s most impressive cities. I visited the Russian Museum in St Petersburg last year and was inspired by its displays of amazing art from the 10th to the 21st centuries.  I want to transplant some of that wonder to our show garden and reflect the vibrancy and the variety of the exhibits as well as spur people on to take a trip to St Petersburg and be wowed, just as I was.”

Twig director Miranda Eyre said: “It is a great honour to work with the Friends of the Russian Museum in St Petersburg. This is a fascinating project for the Twig Group and one that we hope will open up a world of opportunities not only for visitors to Hampton Court Palace in July, but also for us as a business and for all our suppliers.”

Dr Vladimir Gusev, Director of the State Russian Museum, said: “Palaces, parks and gardens in the historical centre of Saint Petersburg are part of the  Russian Museum and are the magnificent framing for the world’s largest collection of Russian art, representing all the periods of Russian art history, genres and styles, schools and artists. The Russian Museum collection reflects the history of Russian culture in its entirety.

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