||Anne-Marie van Sprang||Nederlands|
I made an installation for the Botanical Garden in Utrecht in 1991. To learn to know the garden better and to find out what I wanted to make, I started to walk a lot in the garden, and made drawings about the ideas I got. I also started to use magnifying glasses. When you look through a lens it forces you to concentrate on one point or limited area. It also is something that you have to do alone; it is an individual occupation. I think it is very important that when you read art, which for me is equivalent to see work, concentrate and think.
Then there was this idea to place some magnifying glasses in and above the pond of the tropical glasshouse. The lenses were put into thin stainless steel housings. There was also a transparent house with magnifying glasses, all made of synthetic materials. The house was placed just above the water; a little chair was placed in the house. This chair was beside a hole in the floor, made for foot bathing. You can see part of the chair, some details can be much enlarged, it depends on the way you move around the pond.
The installation was there about three months and at the end of the period the vegetation has completely overgrown the works. Before this project I sometimes wandered in Botanical gardens, to enjoy how the Flora is growing. When I walked there thinking of what to make - for me it seemed almost impossible to add something in a surrounding like that, with so many coloured fantastic stories. In the beginning I felt anything I would make would be very poor in comparison with what was already there. It was very interesting to see what happened, the process of the plants overgrowing my work. It felt good to observe nature absorbing my work.
With the drawings and ideas together I made a book. It was called "botanische verwonderingen" (botanical astonishment) and presented in the same period as the installation.
Botanische tuin Utrecht 1991