Dan Arps

A Winter Garden

13 Dec — 23 Dec 2000

Part scavenger and part hobbyist constructor, Dan Arps creates sprawling installations which colonize space, crawling up walls, hanging off windows and ceilings, and spilling out doors. From meticulous cardboard and paper constructions to warehouse buckets and $2 shop detitrus, Arps gathers material seemingly randomly, yet each installation is painstakingly built up and layered.

Responding to his upbringing in Christchurch - 'the garden city', Dan Arps' installation merges historical and mythical representations of the garden with aspects of actual gardens the artist has encountered. Excavating sources that run the gamut from his own backyard to the Garden of Eden, Arps' project locates the garden as a point where nature is contained, removed from danger of predators, the darkness of unmapped terrain, and sheltered from the unpredictability of extreme weather patterns.

Named after a 1972 installation from Belgian proto-conceptualist Marcel Broodthayers, A Winter Garden questions the notions of nature and culture as distinct entities, using the garden as a meeting ground for the two, collapsing boundaries and making new and unlikely connections.


Reviews, Essays & Articles
Fresh - A series profiling Contemporary New Zealand Practitioners
The Physics Room Annual, 2001
Devenish, Lee.