Gardening of Soul
Gallery 1 / 7. 12. 2023 – 9. 3. 2024
The opening ceremony of the exhibition will take place on Wednesday 6 December 2023 at 19.00. A guided tour of the exhibition with the curator and artists will take place from 6 pm.
Artists: Jiří Bartoš & Jan C. Löbl (CZ), Jiří Černický (CZ), Olia Fedorova (UA), Barbara Herold & Florian Huth (DE), Stephen Hobbs (ZA) & Marcus Neustetter (AT), Jiří Philippe Janda & Václav Mach (CZ), Zdena Kolečková (CZ), Jiří Kovanda & Ivana Lovětínská (CZ), Jan Krtička (CZ), Michaela Labudová (CZ), Man Tin (HKG), Finnbogi Pétursson (IS), Andrea Resner (CRO), Robert Vlasák (CZ), Wong Wo Bik (HKG)
The exhibition Gardening of Soul at the House of Arts in Ústí nad Labem is part of a greater program called Gardening of Soul: In Five Chapters, which examines the topic of the garden and gardening from various metaphorical angles. Undertaken at the Faculty of Art and Design at Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem, this multiyear program is divided into several interconnected parts and encompasses the creation of artworks in the public space with involvement from local communities, residencies of foreign artists in the Czech Republic and Czech artists in Iceland, an international conference, and exhibition presentations accompanied by the realization of current works of art.
In the context of the aforesaid program, the exhibition Gardening of Soul can be seen as an important crossroads, as it offers a wide range of results that have gradually arisen throughout the course of the program and reflect its thematic focus in individual artistic expression. The works presented to the public can be divided into three groups, one of which is born from a lasting collaboration with foreign artists Olia Fedorova (UA), Barbara Herold & Florian Huth (DE), Stephen Hobbs & Marcus Neustetter (ZA/AT), Finnbogi Pétursson (IS), Andrea Resner (CRO), Man Tin (HKG), and Wong Wo Bik (HKG), all of whom recently completed residencies at the Ústí nad Labem House of Arts, which were conceived so that the artists could combine their own interest in the subject of gardening with the specific realia of the local postindustrial setting. In addition, the exhibition will feature Czech artists Michaela Labudová and Jan Krtička, who had an opportunity to explore eastern Iceland during a residency at the Skaftfell Art Center, which they drew upon in their works. Last but not least, Jiří Černický, Jiří Bartoš & Jan C. Löbl, Jiří Philippe Janda & Václav Mach, Zdena Kolečková, Jiří Kovanda & Ivana Lovětínská, and Robert Vlasák will, by means of documentation and smaller installations, reveal projects that are being prepared for the public space in collaboration with the organization People in Need Předlice, Dobrovolnický centrum Ústí nad Labem, the senior centre Domov Velké Březno, the elementary school of arts in Most, and the university in Ústí nad Labem.
The artists behind the projects presented in Gardening of Soul share a common interest in seeking out the lost balance between the individual and the natural or social environment surroundings him. It is a search which, much like tending a garden, requires patient participation, understanding, and engagement.
The exhibition Gardening of Soul is an output of the research, artistic, and exhibition program entitled Gardening of Soul: In Five Chapters, which is made possible by financial support from EEA and Norway Grants.