By Carol Stocker
What do you get when a true artist interprets plant forms? Dark Gardens is an installation at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton through May 19 that is a must-see for gardeners. The artist, Linda Huey is both a noted ceramicist and a keen gardener herself
The title of this terrific show, "Dark Garden" is taken from her thoughts about the damage being done to the environment. The most major event of her career, it consists of 40 clay "plants" up to nine feet tall that mirror her conviction that the biggest problem the earth is facing is ecological disaster.
The beautiful but unlikely plant forms turn an entire gallery into a somber, courtyard-type garden. This is no ordinary garden. Imagine flowers, seed pods, leaves—all constructed from clay, manufactured steel, rusted rebar metal, and debris. Huey’s four to nine-foot-tall plants have a suggestion of beauty and fragility, but look closer and see mounds of clay earth that appear to be fossilized trash and computer parts, flowers with graffiti, black fairies, decayed gnomes, broken antennas, leaves infested with cars. Her garden grows with compelling dualities: nature versus culture, organic versus man-made, life versus decay. Huey’s concern for the natural environment is apparent as she explores problematic aspects of culture through her sculptures.
Each of us tries to find a way to answer the onrushing crisis. Her exhibition asks the question—Can art make a difference and change the values of society?
To contact the Fuller Craft Museum at 455 Oak Street, Brockton, call 508.588.6000.