Courtesy of Nature is a contextual art installation by Anouk Vogel and Johan Selbing that frames existing plant life within a gallery-like space. Instead of creating a new object to be placed on existing exhibition grounds, the exhibition space is designed around living elements such as trees and ferns. Located at Redford Gardens, the installation invites visitors to reflect upon our relation to nature. Is nature something to cherish? To protect? To tame? To exploit?
The local context is not altered, but part of it is temporarily isolated in order to create an indoor vegetal isle evoking an art work. On entering this volume one would logically expect to find oneself indoors. This makes it all the more surprising when the indoors turns out to illustrate a portion of the outdoors. This tranquil space alludes to a museum room where landscape has become interior, its dimension tamed by architectural means.
Anouk Vogel (Geneva, Switzerland, 1977) studied landscape architecture at the Manchester Metropolitan University and Johan Selbing (Borås, Sweden, 1974) studied architecture at the Chalmers University in Gothenburg and at Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark. They previously collaborated on various projects in different countries ranging from gardens to parks, art works, bridges, furniture, interiors and small buildings. In 2009 their proposal for the new furniture of the Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s central park (which is listed as a Dutch state monument), won first prize and is currently being implemented. In 2010 they were shortlisted for the Prix de Rome, the most prestigious Dutch state prize for young architects. Their interventions are often described as poetic in nature, intensifying the meaning and experience of specific locations. Furthermore their built works testify to their strong interest for materialization and craftsmanship.