“The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway”— Michael
Inspiration, joy and wonder all live within its perimeter. It’s a magical place. A place of solitude
where you are never alone. A place of beauty intricately connected to death and decay. A
bundle of stunning contradictions. It is a garden.
I think of a garden, any garden, as a transitional space shared between humans and the natural
world. As Michael Pollan pointed out, gardens can teach us how to understand nature better.
They are pint size expressions of our larger environment. Small oasis where we can relax,
learn, observe and enjoy.
As such, they have become vital in turning the tides on the impending ecological disaster. We
can help pollinators, shelter birds, protect insects and amphibians with little effort on our part.
We can all lend a hand and make our planet a healthier place one small garden at a time. There
is so much magic and activity in the garden that we can’t even see! So much happens in a
home garden unbeknown to us! Sometimes, all we need to do is not intervene and let nature
flourish and do what it does best: regulate itself.
So, my style of gardening is not based on heavy handed landscaping, eradicating critters and
subjugating plants that thrive but aren’t decorative. I prefer gardening for wildlife, with an
emphasis on water conservation and soil health. I don’t use pesticides. Instead I rely on a strong
and well populated food chain that keeps everything in perfect balance. Nothing goes to waste.
The garden is in a perpetual state of evolution towards homeostasis. I just go along for the ride.
My collages borrow the colors and shapes of the garden. The oranges and pinks of the zinnias.
The gentle white cosmos swaying over the grass. The red poppies punctuating both sides of the
driveway. All my senses are stimulated by the activity in the garden. I see birds flying overhead,
red squirrels scampering through the branches and fireflies twinkling over the stream at night. I
reimagine these elements into collages and create from a place of gratitude.
Cristina Clarimon was born in Madrid, Spain and lives and works in Williston, VT. She attended the Escuela de Bellas Artes at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, and briefly The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She holds a Bachelor in Fine Arts and a Masters in Art Education from the University of New Mexico.
Her work has been exhibited in galleries in the Southwest, Florida, Oregon, Vermont and California. She was selected to show in the Santa Fe Museum of Fine Arts, the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos, the Arts Center in St. Petersburg (Florida) and in the Las Cruces Museum of Art. Her mixed media collages are in collections around the world in Spain, the Netherlands, Japan, Scotland, Canada, the United States and Mexico.
She prefers to work in a traditional way, avoiding the digitalization of the original technique, while always in search of rich surfaces and unexpected effects. Her pieces are built up layer by layer with patience, skill and tolerance, to allow the image to develop on its own terms.