Paul Clemence’s exhibition of 17 photos – in both black & white and color – at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden takes the viewer on a worldwide trek through famous gardens.
There’s the Maison Claude Monet in Giverny, France, the Beyeler Foundation in Basel, Switzerland, the Inhotim Institute in Brazil, the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., the New York Botanical Garden, and the Miami Beach Botanical Garden.
“Paul Clemence’s ‘Mediations’ guides the visitor on a global garden tour, experiencing how color, light and subtle movement connect one with nature,” says Sandy Shapiro, executive director of the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. “Paul exquisitely captures how time in a garden feeds ones soul.”
Some are printed on photo paper, others on aluminum, and still others on transparent adhesive film. There are seven-inch-square, plexi-art cubes, and one image in archival inkjet printed on silk charmeuse, nine by 15 feet, covering an entire window. “It’s the most effective one in the exhibit,” says Gaspar Saldanha, curator and art chair at the garden.
Saldanha and Clemence, both rooted in Brazilian culture, met 15 years ago in Miami, and have collaborated ever since. “A lot of our interests are the same,” Saldanha says. “My grandfather was from Brazil, and collaborated with Oscar Niemeyer and other architects of that time.”
Clemence, born in the states and raised in Brazil, has photographed much of Niemeyer’s work, especially in Brasilia, the nation’s capital designed and built in the International Style.
But here, his work is about the natural world. “I wanted to share my vision of the inspiration these gardens bring,” the photographer says. “My inspiration for this exhibit was Monet’s concept of the garden as ‘peaceful refuge,’ his quest for capturing the elusive fleeting light, and his groundbreaking experiments in abstraction.”
The garden is located in the heart of South Beach, and is popular with young families who’ll come in the morning with a picnic and make a day of it. “People love coming to spend the whole day and relax,” Saldanha says. “It’s for people who don’t want to be on the beach, and want to chill out.”
The exhibition is open Tuesday through Sunday, 9 AM to 5 PM. Tickets are required.
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