PLEASE ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE MYSELF,

I’M A MAN OF CLAY AND GLAZE

PUSHED MUD AROUND FOR SEVENTY YEARS

OR TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND DAYS.

Robin Hopper is a man of many parts, mostly worn out, rusty or dysfunctional, due to a lifetime of excesses! He started working with clay at the age of three and is still doing it over 70 years later. His lengthy, peripatetic career as a mudpusher has included side trips into working as a Professional Actor, Stage Designer, Property Maker, Stage Manager, Stage Carpenter, Grocer, Greengrocer, Jazz Musician, Teapot, Wine and Beer-Bottle, Trumpet, Trombone and Bugle Player, European Travel Guide, Founder of Several Clay/Art/Craft Organizations, Alchemist, Geologist, Primatologist, Linguist, Ornithologist, Botanist, Ceramic Historian, Educator, Author, Garden Designer, Lecturer on Japanese Garden Design, Laborer and Star of Stage, Screen and Potter’s Wheel!

Monday, April 30, 2012

INTRODUCTION TO THE GARDEN - PART THREE

30 April,  2012

INTRODUCTION TO THE GARDEN - PART THREE


THE MEANDERING PATH


GARDEN PLAN
Hi, If you are new to my blog  -  WELCOME. This blog covers a lot of different subject matter and meanders through things that have intrigued me and affected the development of my thinking and art work in many ways. To really follow and understand it all, it would be best to start at the beginning and see where we have come so far. It is basically about the life journey of a senior, almost retired, artist working in clay and the different twists, turns, interests, directions and solutions that have, for me, produced an interesting ride. They have given me a huge assortment of visual images that have greatly influenced my work in ceramics over several decades.


PORCELAIN LIDDED JAR - CLEMATIS SERIES - 55cm Height

If you are a returning reader of this blog, Welcome back. Last week I moved into the inspiring world of Japanese Culture, plants, Tea Ceremony, ceramics and Garden styles. Various parts of my work have been related to things of Japanese origin. They have given me a huge assortment of visual images that have greatly influenced my work in ceramics over several decades.

LARGE PORCELAIN PLATE - CLEMATIS SERIES

CLEMATIS - "Nellie Moser"


PORCELAIN SLAB PLATE - "METCHOSIN MISTS" - 35 X 35cm











Like an actor playing many roles, I have always made it a habit to find out as much as I possibly can about my interest areas. This gives me many options of interpretation. They are my various basic IDEA SOURCES.  Over a lifetime of making things and following my interests, it has led to much diversity in my work. I designed and built the garden for a number of reasons. First, I love Gardens and Plants, particularly Asian Gardens and Asian Plants. Second, it is also part of the draw for people to visit our studio. Third, it is a non-stop, year-round source of ideas and imagery for my clay work and glaze paintings. Fourth, It puts me in significantly beautiful surroundings that continually feed my soul. And Fifth, it fulfills a promise that I made to myself as a child after WWII in London, when London architecture was just a mass of shards, and previously beautiful gardens and park spaces were akin to giant compost piles. I vowed that if I ever had the means to buy property and the understanding to make a garden for beautification and the enjoyment of all, it should be a major part of my life's work. Every Home/Studio/Gallery/Garden environment that I have created in England, Central and Western Canada has been a giant learning curve to achieve my goals. The current one has given particular pleasure in watching it all mature over a period of 35 years. Part of the reason that I chose to develop an Asian style garden was in reaction to the fall colour or lack there of on Vancouver Island. Most indigenous vegetation here is evergreen and doesn't change much throughout the year. I had moved from Ontario where the short, but very sweet, fall has the most amazing array of leaf colour  from the large sugar maples. I became quite depressed by the lack of colour other than various shades of green. I spent much of the first winter researching what plants of all sizes give the best fall colour. Almost invariably, they came from China, Japan and Korea and were relatively easy to find from the nurseries in the area. So the concept was set and the following spring, 1978, it was started. Now, one of the most spectacular periods of the year starts at the end of August and keeps changing until mid-November. I selected plants to give a flowing sequence of colour over an extended period of time, and gives me all that I could possibly want.


ENTRANCE GATE DETAIL



THE GARDEN STARTS HERE

MEANDERING "RIVER PATH"
SPRING WOODLAND GARDEN

"RIVER PATH" WITH FIGURES BY ANN LINNEMAN
FAN-SHAPED PANELS IN PATH REPRESENT AUTHORITY
IN JAPANESE SYMBOLISM

"RIVER PATH" - SPRING WOODLAND GARDEN

The 2 hectare property is set among the remnants of an old first growth forest of mixed trees, mainly Douglas Fir up to 50 meters in height and 3 meters diameter at the base of the trunk, Big Leaf Maple and Garry Oak. There is a lot of low level brush shrubs and masses of early spring bulbs. Just under half, 2.5 acres, is the garden, based on the five basic Japanese garden styles. It is an artist's interpretation, and doesn't pretend to be an accurate representation of a specific style or garden.  It shamelessly steals ideas from the best of Japanese Garden Designers, the foremost being Shigemori and Nakane and many other gardenmakers. The basic concept is that of a Stroll garden, with the other four styles incorporated into the large space. The Stroll garden follows the trials and travels in my life, and, for myself, represents my life journey, Nostalgia if you like. The garden is my design throughout and benefits enormously from the team that has made it happen over a lengthy time, Michael Greenwood, Sean Greenwood, David Seager, Doug Robb, Jake James and my patient, tolerant and usually understanding wife, Judi Dyelle. In my estimation, the garden is the largest and best art work that I will ever do.


RIVER PATH - SPRING WOODLAND
Add caption


RHODODENDRON - PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT
  SPRING WOODLAND GARDEN
SPRING WOODLAND GARDEN -  RIVER PATH - APRIL 2012

 I plan to take you on that journey with many images, starting with the opening gate. When visiting Japanese style gardens you need to remember that there is much symbolism involved - things that carry different meanings. A meandering pathway is a metaphor for a river, and that is another metaphor for taking a journey. All rivers end up at an Ocean and all oceans flow into each other, allowing for a continual flow of movement around the miniaturized globe.



SPRING WOODLAND GARDEN - RIVER PATH MEETS "OCEAN"- APRIL 1995


CIVILIZATION - APRIL 2012

CIVILIZATION GATE


ASIAN STONE LANTERN

"OCEAN" - LOOKING SOUTH

"EQUATOR ARCH"

GLADIATOR TUNNEL - TONGUE IN CHEEK GRECO-ROMAN PRECINCT

GLADIATOR TUNNEL - TONGUE IN CHEEK GRECO-ROMAN PRECINCT

DAYLILY ORCHARD


"KOREAN GATE"


"KOREAN GATE"


 In today's Blog posting I have guided you around the first half of the garden. In the next posting, on Friday, May 4th, 2012 we will continue the circuitous path. Over the course of a year, I plan to document the sequence of its seasonal changes. Right now it is Mid-Spring. 


INNER OR MEDITATION GARDEN WITH KOI PONDS AND PATIOS- APRIL 27, 2012




























































4 comments:

  1. Just exquisite! I can't wait to see the garden change from season to season as you post photographs through the year. Looking forward to the day lily orchard soon! Thank you so much for sharing your garden in such lush detail!

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  2. I love sharing the garden with others. I hope it gives them as much pleasure as it gives me. With readers of my blog coming from over 100 countries around the world, it gives them a chance to observe how things are on Southern Vancouver Island. Thanks for the opportunity.

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  3. I think you've produced some genuinely interesting points. Not too many people would in fact think about this the way you just did. I'm truly impressed that there's so substantially about this subject that's been uncovered and you did it so properly, with so a lot class. Wonderful pics! Genuinely great stuff here.

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