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Artist Transforms French Gothic Church Into a Garden of Whispers

Artist Transforms Church Into A Garden Of Whispers

Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck has transformed the refectory of a Jacobian convent in Toulouse into a multi-sensory art installation for the Printemps de Septembre Festival. A wooden path leads visitors through sand dunes and camping outposts, with barren trees and a simple strand of light marking the route. Garden of Whispers is perfectly synchronized with Op de Beeck's view of “man as a being who stages the world around him in a tragi-comic way.” The work stimulates the sense and invites viewers to experience the environment through the visual, olfactory, and auditory.

A soundtrack of whispering voices fills the space, which at once seems both empty and full. Visitors are encouraged to meditate on the space, and while they will find references to mythology, religion, and history in the small tableaus set up throughout the installation, the artist's aim is to create a timeless experience outside known references. Performance is also incorporated into the work, with figures carrying out mundane acts staged throughout. Occasionally, these figures may offer tea to spectators.

The ephemera—pots, pans, glass bottles, bedding—that greets visitors as they make their way down the wooden path creates a sense of arriving in an inhabited space or perhaps a land recently abandoned. How the viewer fills that space is left to the imagination, as the artist leaves visitors room to interpret his creation.

Garden of Whispers is on view until November 27 at the Couvent des Jacobins in Toulouse, France.

Artist Transforms A Refectory Of A Jacobian Convent Into Multi-Sensory Art InstallationBarren Trees With Strands Of Light

Wooden Path Through Sand Dunes

Meditation Space In Camping Outposts

Visitors Encouraged To Experience The Environment

Timeless Experience In Multi-Sensory Art Installation

Camping Outposts For Visitors To Meditate

Full Immersion Art Installation

Visitors Experience The Environment Through Visual, Olfactory And Audible

Artist Leaves Visitors To Interpret Creation

Hans Op de Beeck: Website | Facebook
via [designboom]

All images via Studio Hans Op de Beeck

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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