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With a spectacular exhibition of over fifty photorealistic plant sculptures that would make Duane Hanson green with envy, the Mosaïcultures Internationales Montréal 2013 event grabbed visitors’ attention by turning the Botanical Garden into something combining a zoo and an Elysian playground.
An invasion of carefully sculptured bugs, reptiles, fish, bears and gorillas appear to roam free across the grounds, with giant hands, faces, maidens clutching cranes and Mother Nature herself adding to the exquisiteness of 2013’s theme: Land of Hope.
You expect at an exhibition of ‘plant art’ that explosions of colour would be driving your eyes to the back of your head. Despite this, the exhibition pieces are tasteful. For some this might seem odd as colour is clearly plastered all over the living world. However, the neutral colour pallet that permeates the collection is a wonderful homage to life and growth being a part of nature. Granted, when working with plants an artist pretty much has to focus on green as a primary, but if the entire exhibition had been sprayed with colour, then it would feel like pouring paint over an existing paradise.
Specific pieces definitely stand out as particularly creative and original such as the beautiful phoenix display, as well as the Mozart turtle, diving out over his personal waterfall. However, there were a few pieces that didn’t seem to pop and followed the whole farmer theme like, well, sheep.
The disappointing aspect is that the amount of farming-inspired displays seemed high, and amongst the displays focussing on exotic wildlife and various nature-inspired deities, it’s just a bit difficult to place them in the same category as the other pieces. While they were beautifully executed, the amount of time and effort used for these seems a little wasted, when it could have created a crouching tiger or a herd of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plain.
Speaking of herds, a warning to the visitors; entry to the exhibit may result in being chased around by a gang of lemurs.