Garden Redux is an experimental space where art and life co-mingle in the service of community, sustainability and agriculture. In the summer of 2011 my three teenaged children and I did a project we called the Garden Redux Mobile Studio. For kids who have grown up during a time of war and environmental degradation, The Mobile Studio was a way to publically take a stand for peaceful, sustainable practices. We wanted to salute small-scale organic farmers, and community garden groups, who are taking care of the earth one vegetable garden at a time. We made certificates, and presented them to farmers and gardeners from New England to Minnesota during a road trip that took us along the Great Lakes of North America. Over a month, we visited farms and gardens, camped, stayed in hostels and explored. Our blog, The Garden Redux, chronicles this adventure.
The Garden Redux project currently consists of an ongoing cluster of initiatives. Our home vegetable garden is at the center of Garden Redux. This small “plant collage” is where we grow a large percentage of the vegetables we eat, and where we are learning the agricultural arts: composting, pest and disease management through organic means, companion planting, and ornamental yet edible garden design. It has also become a quiet center of our household, a place to sit and be still. Our Familyfesto, a letterpress handbill, is part of the MoMA Studio: Common Senses exhibition featuring The Mildred Complex(ity) in October-November 2012. We performed this project at MoMA in conjunction with their exhibition The Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900-2000.
In spring 2012 The Garden Redux connected to the city of Hartford through our artwork “Patch: Hartford Food Security.” This project consisted of a set of embroidered patches (one for each of the city’s community gardens) on billboard vinyl, and a map of Hartford’s Community Garden network. This project was exhibited in “As It Ever Was”, a pop up art gallery exhibition organized by David Borawski in downtown Hartford. “Patch” was a way to contribute to the visibility of Hartford’s community gardens, and celebrate the work of urban gardeners in Connecticut’s capital city.
In the summer of 2013 Carol Padberg was asked to be the Artist in Residence for the KNOX community gardens in Hartford. In this capacity Garden Redux will begin a new initiative of developing art in the gardens, beginning with a series of listening and learning projects to get to know the West End and Earle Street Community Gardeners. We are thinking big, we are acting locally and we are serving the needs of communities and the planet. Garden Redux continues to grow!